LOOK WHO IS ABOVE THE FOLD OF THE FRONT PAGE TIMES AND WAPO TODAY: STEPHEN MILLER. Here’s the Sunday NYT and Sunday WaPo.
NYT: “How Stephen Miller Seized the Moment to Battle Immigration: Behind Mr. Miller’s singular grip on the Trump anti-immigrant agenda are forces far bigger than his own hostility toward the foreign-born,” by Jason DeParle
WAPO: “THE ADVISER WHO SCRIPTS TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: With unswerving loyalty, Stephen Miller has singular control of an issue central to the presidency,” by Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey: “In Trump, Miller has found a champion for his ideological goals. He is the singular force behind the Trump administration’s immigration agenda — making him a crucial White House figure on an issue central to the president’s reelection campaign.
“In an interview Friday with The Washington Post, Miller aggressively minimized his role in the administration and would accept no credit for its direction. He said he sees himself as a conservative populist, someone who pushed his liberal high school in California to have the Pledge of Allegiance recited on a daily basis, who says he sees U.S. citizenship “as something sacred” and who regards immigration as a defining element of the nation’s future.
“Effusive in praising his boss, Miller said he experienced a ‘jolt of electricity to my soul’ when he saw Trump announce his presidential run, ‘as though everything that I felt at the deepest levels of my heart were for now being expressed by a candidate for our nation’s highest office before a watching world.’ …
“Miller, who turns 34 in the coming week, said he has no plans beyond his current job and no personal ambitions. There is only Trump. ‘Every day of my life I thank God for having the privilege to come and work here for this president and this mission,’ he said. ‘And you cannot understand me, you cannot understand anything that I say, do or think if you do not understand that my sole motivation is to serve this president and this country, and there is no other.’” WaPo
NOTE: The Post got the Miller interview, and the Times did not. … ALSO: Miller stayed at the crushing Nats/Brewers game through the 14th inning Saturday night.
THE MOOD … WAPO’S DAN BALZ: “After a week in which the threat of recession rocked global financial markets, his trade war with China showed no signs of progress and the government of Israel got into a nasty dispute with two members of Congress, President Trump went to bed Thursday night with other weighty issues on his mind.
“‘Great news,’ he tweeted. ‘Tonight we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena [Southern New Hampshire University] in Manchester!’
“This is the frivolous mind-set of the president of the United States. Trump’s statements over the past few days have brought into focus once again something fundamental about him: He has little understanding of what it means to govern. He would rather tweet from the bleachers.” WaPo
N.B. … WAPO: “Former vice president Dick Cheney to appear at fundraiser for Trump and RNC”
-- MUCH OF THE GOP POLITICAL WORLD is in Jackson Hole for House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY’S big-donor weekend. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are among the speakers.
THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE raised $4.09 million in July, and has $24 million on hand. It is better than their 2015 and 2017 totals, but the DCCC is lapping the NRCC. They raised $7 million in July and have $28 million on hand.
Good Sunday morning. NBC’S LESTER HOLT is in Iran and will broadcast the evening news from Tehran on Monday. He’ll also appear on the “Today” show.
THE PRESIDENT’S WEEK … Tuesday: PRESIDENT TRUMP will have lunch with VP Mike Pence, and will meet with the president of Romania … Wednesday: THE PRESIDENT will travel to Louisville, Ky., to address the American Veterans 75th national convention, and hold a roundtable and fundraiser. … Thursday: The president will award the Medal of Freedom to Bob Cousy. … Friday: The president will have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
JOE BIDEN on Saturday night on Cape Cod, per pooler Kristen Young of the Cape Cod Times: “There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there … I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people. They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”
SPOTTED: Bill Clinton at the 71st annual Artists and Writers Charity Softball game in East Hampton on Saturday. Clinton umpired the first inning and said his wife, Hillary, was home with the grandchildren. Pic … Another pic … ALSO SPOTTED: Ken Auletta, Mike Lupica, Keith Kelly, Gabrielle Bluestone, Walter Isaacson, Zack Greenberg, Brian Pfund, Peter Cook, Walter Bernard, Lori Singer and David Andelman.
NEWS … MARK HALPERIN has signed a deal with Regan Arts to publish a book called “How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take,” the publisher will announce Monday. The book is Halperin’s first major project since multiple accusations about him were published in the height of the Me Too movement in October 2017. The book will be released in November of this year.
-- HALPERIN interviewed more than 75 top Democratic strategists for the book including Jill Alper, David Axelrod, Bob Bauer, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Tad Devine, Anita Dunn, Karen Dunn, Adrienne Elrod, Jennifer Granholm, Ben LaBolt, Jeff Link, Jim Margolis, Mike McCurry, Mark Mellman, Amanda Renteria, John Sasso, Kathleen Sebelius, Bob Shrum, Ginny Terzano, and David Wilhelm.
-- HALPERIN has re-emerged in recent months, authoring his own newsletter, resurfacing on Twitter and appearing on Sirius XM with Michael Smerconish.
-- JUDITH REGAN will release this statement about why she is publishing Halperin’s book: “I do not in any way, shape, or form condone any harm done by one human being to another. I have also lived long enough to believe in the power of forgiveness, second chances, and offering a human being a path to redemption. HOW TO BEAT TRUMP is an important, thoughtful book, and I hope everyone has a chance to read it.” The cover
SCOOP FROM JOHN BRESNAHAN … NANCY PELOSI WARNS WHITE HOUSE MAY BE TRYING TO SINK BUDGET DEAL … Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that a Trump administration proposal that cut several billion dollars in foreign aid already approved by Congress may blow up the massive $2.5-trillion budget deal inked just before the August recess. This was the deal that ended a potential debt crisis, and lowered the chances of a government shutdown this fall.
GOP AND DEMOCRATIC LEADERS on the panels overseeing foreign aid in both the House and Senate have complained about the potential rescissions package coming from OMB, expected to be between $2 billion and $4 billion. They've written to Acting OMB Director Russell Vought and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to request that the administration hold off, although White House officials looked like they were ready to move ahead anyway.
NOW PELOSI -- armed with a General Accounting Office legal opinion that states the cuts are illegal -- is warning Mulvaney that if the White House goes ahead with the rescissions, it could sink the deal that he and Pelosi hammered out.
“I REQUEST THAT YOU WORK within the Administration to stop this proposed rescission which GAO states is illegal, which violates the good faith of our budget negotiations, which important Republicans say is all-advised, and which overrides Congress' move fundamental Constitutional power," Pelosi said in her Aug. 16 letter. The letter
SUNDAY BEST … KUDLOW MAKES THE ROUNDS (from Redding, Conn.) …
CLIP AND SAVE … CHUCK TODD and KUDLOW on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: KUDLOW: “Well, I’ll tell you what I sure don’t see -- a recession.” … TODD: “Okay. You say that. But, you know, you actually said that in 2007 right before the second-worst downturn in American history. This is what you wrote. ‘There's no recession coming.’ This is in December of '07. "The pessimistas were wrong. It's not going to happen. The Bush boom is alive and well. It's finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come." The more to come was a massive downturn. So I admire your optimism, but the data is pointing in another direction.
KUDLOW: “Well, I plead guilty to that late 2007 forecast. I plead guilty.”
GREAT JOB BY DANA PERINO … PERINO played the clip of PRESIDENT TRUMP saying in October 2018 that they were going to put in place a 10-percent tax cut for middle-income families. The president didn’t follow through on that promise.
-- PERINO: “Is that still on the table?” KUDLOW: “Well we’re looking at it. Tax cuts 2.0. We’re looking at all that.”
INTERESTING MARKER by PETER NAVARRO on ABC’S “THIS WEEK” to PETER NAVARRO: “By early October, if congress rises above partisan politics, we should have passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.”
-- EARLY OCTOBER gives Congress three or so weeks to pass the massive trade deal.
CNN’S JAKE TAPPER asked PETER NAVARRO about tariffs on China. NAVARRO: “They’re not hurting anybody here, they’re hurting China.”
HAPPENING TOMORROW … WSJ: “Trump Administration Plans to Give Huawei More Time to Work With U.S. Customers,” by Katy Stech Ferek and Andrew Restuccia: “The Trump administration is preparing to extend the length of a license that has enabled Huawei Technologies Co. to continue working with U.S. customers despite national-security concerns that landed the Chinese telecom company on an export blacklist earlier this year.
“Commerce Department officials plan to announce Monday that they will grant a 90-day extension to the license that has allowed Huawei to continue doing some business within the U.S., according to an administration official.” WSJ
AS TRUMP WEIGHS LEAVING AFGHANISTAN … AP/KABUL: “Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63”: “The death toll from a late-night suicide bombing at a crowded wedding party in the Afghan capital rose to at least 63 on Sunday, including women and children, officials said. The local Islamic State group’s affiliate claimed responsibility for what was the deadliest attack in Kabul this year.
“Another 182 people were wounded in the Saturday night explosion, government spokesman Feroz Bashari said. Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi confirmed the casualty toll as families began to bury the dead. Some helped to dig graves with their bare hands.
“Kabul residents were outraged as there appears to be no end to violence even as the United States and the Taliban say they are nearing a deal to end their 18-year conflict, America’s longest war.” AP
MIAMI HERALD: “Why was Jeffrey Epstein allowed to purchase small women’s panties from the Palm Beach jail?” by Sarah Blaskey and Nicholas Nehmas: “A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5.
“It was just one of thousands of dollars of purchases made by the disgraced financier while in jail after pleading guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for sex, according to a purchase log. (His top purchase was single-serve cups of coffee, of which he bought more than 800 in 13 months.)
“But the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman.
“The panties were certainly too small for Epstein, who also purchased his briefs in men’s medium and sweatshirts ranging from XL to 3XL, and size-12 shoes. So what, or who, were they for, and why wouldn’t the purchase raise eyebrows under the circumstances? It’s one of many questions that arise from thousands of pages of records obtained by the Miami Herald from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.” Miami Herald
2020 … DES MOINES REGISTER: “2020 Democrats are stepping up their courtship of Native American voters. Here’s why,” by Ledyard King and Shelby Fleig: “Democrats seeking the White House are starting to focus on issues facing Native Americans: Native American voter turnout has ticked upward in the last several elections, and while Native Americans make up a small slice of the electorate, they overwhelmingly support Democrats.
“An increase in Native American voters in key battleground states could overcome the margins of victory President Donald Trump earned in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina, native activists said.” DMR
BOSTON GLOBE: “Joseph P. Kennedy III to decide soon on challenge to Senator Edward Markey,” by Jess Bidgood and Vicky McGrane: “Kennedy will make a decision about whether to run in the coming weeks, the person close to him said, adding that the four-term congressman began weighing the idea recently after he was approached by people urging him to make the bid.
“The 38-year-old scion of the nation’s most famous political family paid for a poll in recent weeks testing a matchup against the 73-year-old Markey, according to two Democratic operatives familiar with the poll. The survey found voters favored Kennedy by a small margin, according to several people familiar with the results.” Boston Globe
TRUMP’S SUNDAY … THE PRESIDENT will return to Washington this afternoon. He will leave Bedminster at 4 p.m., get to the airport around 4:15 p.m. and arrive at Andrews at 5:15 p.m.
FOR UNITED FLIERS … WAPO: “After years-long slump, Dulles International Airport bounces back,” by Lori Aratani: “In May, more than 200 people gathered at a glittering reception to toast United Airlines’ launch of nonstop service between Dulles International and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airports.
“A month later, Portugal’s ambassador to the United States, Domingos Fezas Vital, and other luminaries gathered at the international concourse at Dulles to celebrate the inauguration of nonstop service to Lisbon via TAP Air Portugal.
“In the past two years, more than a half-dozen international carriers have announced new or expanded service from Dulles to destinations as diverse as San Salvador, Cape Verde and Hong Kong. And United, the dominant airline at Dulles, is beefing up its domestic offerings with more service to cities in Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
“Even more significant, for the first time since 2014, more travelers flew through Dulles than Reagan National Airport last year — reversing a multiyear slide that had Virginia officials concerned about the future of the airport that was once the region’s busiest.” WaPo
BEYOND THE BELTWAY … DALLAS MORNING NEWS: “Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suffers heart blockage, is ‘feeling great’ after doctors insert stent.,” by Robert Garrett: “ Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, suffering from chest pains, has received a stent to alleviate heart blockage and is doing well and plans to return to work next week, a spokesman said Saturday.
“Patrick, 69, ‘was experiencing significant chest pain’ when he returned home to Houston late Thursday after completing a three-city flyaround to promote what he says is the success of the state's new A-F school accountability ratings, said Alejandro Garcia, the lieutenant governor's press secretary.” DMN
BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman (@dlippman), filing from New York:
-- “The Watcher,” by Reeves Wiedeman in The Cut in November 2018: “A family bought their dream house. But according to the creepy letters they started to get, they weren’t the only ones interested in it.” The Cut
-- “War and drugs: Together since forever,” by Eric Mankin in Knowable Magazine: “Alcohol-drenched medieval battlefields. Opium-laced imperialism. Modern-day narco-terrorism. There’s a lot of history between armed conflict and psychoactive substances.” Knowable
-- “How Kirk Douglas Overstated His Role in Breaking the Hollywood Blacklist,” by John Meroney and Sean Coons in The Atlantic in July 2012: “In Kirk Douglas’s account it’s his intrepid backroom machinations that finally achieve screen credit for communist writer Dalton Trumbo. Those we interviewed say that scenario isn’t true and, according to ‘Spartacus’ producer Edward Lewis [who died in late July] Douglas had to be prodded to act on Trumbo’s behalf. In fact, it was Lewis who directly commissioned Trumbo to write the script. The young producer became Trumbo’s ‘front’ and Lewis’s byline, instead of Trumbo’s, appeared on the script cover.” The Atlantic
-- “The Population Bust: Demographic Decline and the End of Capitalism as We Know It,”
by Zachary Karabell in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs -- per TheBrowser.com’s description: “Most of the world is experiencing sharp and sudden contractions in birthrates or absolute population. The growth paradigm of the past two centuries is about to change. This may count as bad news in economic terms: An ageing, shrinking population will produce and consume less. But it will be good news for the environment.” Foreign Affairs
-- “The Dark History Behind the Year’s Bestselling Debut Novel,” by Slate’s Laura Miller: “Your book club probably already read ‘Where the Crawdads Sing.’ How much did a long-ago murder in Africa influence Delia Owens’ first novel?” Slate ... $14.27 on Amazon
-- “The Great Silence: A parrot has a question for humans,” by Ted Chiang in Nautilus magazine: “Every parrot has a unique call that it uses to identify itself; biologists refer to this as the parrot’s ‘contact call.’” Nautilus (hat tip: TheBrowser.com)
-- “Nicolas Cage on his legacy, his philosophy of acting and his metaphorical — and literal — search for the Holy Grail,” by David Marchese in the NYT Magazine
-- “Is Line Editing a Lost Art?” by Nick Ripatrazone in LitHub: “Line editors tighten sentences when tension and clarity is missing, they give sentences breath when constrained. Line editors help sentences build into paragraphs, and paragraphs flow into pages. They keep a writer’s eye and ear connected.” LitHub (h/t TheBrowser.com)
-- “The Radical Transformations of a Battered Women’s Shelter,” by The New Yorker’s Larissa MacFarquhar: “Transition House had to be true to its principles and then it had to leave them behind.” New Yorker
-- “How Britain can help you get away with stealing millions: a five-step guide,” by Oliver Bullough in The Guardian -- per TheBrowser.com’s description: “If you want to launder money, use a British shell company. You can incorporate one for £12 on the Companies House website, give fictitious names for the shareholders and directors, and that’s about it. Companies House does not check the accuracy of filings; there is no way for anybody to trace the company back to you.” The Guardian
-- “As overdoses soared, nearly 35 billion opioids — half of distributed pills — handled by 15 percent of pharmacies,” by WaPo’s Jenn Abelson, Andrew Ba Tran, Beth Reinhard and Aaron Davis: “The pharmacies and the opioids they purchased are revealed in the DEA’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, known as ARCOS ... The DEA has maintained this database for roughly two decades but did not regularly mine the records to identify pharmacies buying unusual quantities of opioid pills ... The agency relies on drug companies and pharmacies to monitor and report suspicious purchases.” WaPo
-- “How They (Online Graduate Programs) Get You,” by Katerina Manoff in The Atlantic: “Eager to attract students to new online graduate programs, selective universities have adopted surprisingly aggressive telemarketing practices.” The Atlantic
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at [email protected].
WEEKEND WEDDINGS -- OBAMA ALUMNI: “Tali Warburg, Jeffrey Goldstein,” via NYT: “In September, Ms. Warburg, 27, is to begin work in Boston in corporate strategy for Optum, a health care services division of the UnitedHealth Group. ... In September, Mr. Goldstein, 29, is to begin his third year of a dual degree program, where he will spend the fall semester studying for a master’s in public administration at Harvard, and the spring semester studying for an M.B.A. at Dartmouth. Previously, he worked in Washington for the Obama administration as deputy chief of staff and special assistant to the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.” With a pic: NYT
-- “Olivia Smith, Michael Murray,” via NYT: “Ms. Smith, 30, works in Los Angeles as a journalist for ABC News and ‘Good Morning America,’ and as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. ... Mr. Murray, 35, works in Los Angeles as a manager for ABC NewsOne covering the Western United States and Asia.” With a pic: NYT
-- “Jennifer Wieczner, Flaviu Simihaian,” via NYT: “The bride, 32, is a senior staff writer in New York for Fortune magazine. … The groom, who is also 32 and works in New York, is a founder and the chief executive of Troy Medicare, a health insurance start-up company for seniors in Charlotte, N.C. He is also the chairman of Amplicare, a company he founded in New York that makes Medicare plan comparison software for pharmacies.” With a pic: NYT
-- “Alice Diaz, Nicholas Savaria,” via NYT: “Mrs. Savaria, 36, is the executive director for the vice president for quality at Collins Aerospace, a unit in Windsor Locks, Conn., of the United Technologies Corporation. … Mr. Savaria, 32, is a congressional aide in the district office in New Haven of Representative Rosa L. DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat.” NYT
-- Ewodaghe Harrell and Henry Adams, via NYT: “The bride, 31 ... is an aide to Representative Joe Neguse, Democrat of Colorado. ... The groom, 34, is an assistant professor of mathematics at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.” With a pic: NYT
-- Suzanne Youngblood, deputy comms director for the Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, married Nathan Lane, the Washington representative for the Tennessee Valley Authority, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, this weekend. Pic
BIRTHWEEK (was Saturday): Louisa Terrell (h/t Melanie Fonder Kaye)
BIRTHDAYS: Jon Lovett of “Pod Save America,” “Lovett or Leave It” and Crooked Media … Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is 66 … Rosalynn Carter … Austan Goolsbee, professor at UChicago, is 5-0 … Jason Furman, professor at Harvard Kennedy School, is 49 … Tim Geithner, president of Warburg Pincus, is 58 … Mary Anne Bradfield, NCUA director of public and congressional affairs ... Cara Mason ... NYT’s Maya Kosoff ... Ben Wermund of the Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News ... Holly Kuzmich, executive director of the George W. Bush Institute ... Mark Edwards … Angel Taveras is 49 ... Lee Kamlet ... Scott Haber ... Meera Kallupura ... Lincoln Foran … Bill Tomson ... Megan Scully ... Connie Hair ... WSJ Justice Department reporter Sadie Gurman (h/ts Rebecca Ballhaus and Margaret Harding McGill) … former Rep. Toby Moffett (D-Conn.) is 75 … Bill McCormick is 8-0 …
… Bob Woodruff … Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts … Jules Polonetsky is 54 … Susan Golding … former Mexican President Felipe Calderón is 57 … Elizabeth Songvilay … Simone Pathe, senior politics reporter at Roll Call ... Jeffrey Hiday, director of media relations at the RAND Corporation ... Bully Pulpit Interactive’s Megan Michienzi ... Roger Zakheim … David Fishman, managing director and partner at Global Gateway Advisors … Ethan Melnick … Elizabeth Letter … Martin Vaughn ... Betsy Stark ... Gab Forsyth ... J.P. Duffy … Matt Chandler … Kristi Slafka Brannan … Elizabeth Métraux ... Haley Graves ... Luke Mitchem ... Lou Ventre ... David Brog … Jordan Baugh ... Dan Sullivan, founder and managing director of Montrose Advisors ... Chris Black ... Lauren Smith ... Kim Haddow ... Beth Grupp (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Jua Johnson … former Iowa state Sen. Bob Dvorsky