BEHIND THE SCENES … ON SEPT. 29 -- two days after the
BRETT KAVANAUGH hearing, and one day day after
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-ARIZ.) extracted a new FBI probe of the Supreme Court nominee -- the NRCC sent out a text donation solicitation with this text:
-- “Hi, it's URGENT! We need 324 more conservatives to show their support for Trump & his majority before TONIGHT. Will you take a stand?”
THE NUMBER OF DONATIONS were up 175 percent compared to one week before. The amount raised was up 194 percent, the average gift jumped by 111 percent and the average raised off the text was up 226 percent -- this is per a Republican source familiar with the campaign.
THAT’S NOT TO SAY Kavanaugh is a political positive. But, according to this measurement, the political environment seems to be revving up Republicans.
PLAYBOOK EXCLUSIVES …
-- VP MIKE PENCE is headlining a fundraiser for
REP. DAVE BRAT (R-VA.) Wednesday at the home of American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp. Other notables on the host committee: Charlie Spies, David Safavian, former Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Jackie Arends and ACU Executive Director Dan Schneider. Cost to attend: $250.
-- FOGGY BOTTOM ARRIVAL LOUNGE:
ERIC UELAND started on Monday as the director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, at the State Department. He previously was senior strategy officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation and worked for the Senate Budget Committee.
Good Tuesday afternoon. ELI’S DISPATCH FROM THE ATLANTIC FESTIVAL … HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.) weighed in on Democrats’ main focus for the midterms. “Health care costs in the country, that’s probably the major issue. And it’s tied to what the president and Republicans did on the tax bill,” she said.
-- IF DEMS RETAKE THE HOUSE … Pelosi said they would emphasize Congress’ role in checking the executive. “We’ll be able to show Article I: This is not a rubber stamp for any president, but its own independent, co-equal branch of government.”
-- PELOSI ALSO SAID Trump wants to “undo the Me Too movement.”
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-ARIZ.) declined to say what findings from the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh
could change his mind on the nomination. “I just hope that we find fact,” he said. “And I have an open mind … and we’ll see what they come back with. I don’t want to prejudge it.”
-- FLAKE SAID HE APPRECIATED Kavanaugh’s forceful defense against what the nominee considered false allegations -- but that his anger Thursday toward Democrats turned Flake off. “The interaction with the members was sharp and partisan, and that concerns me. … We can’t have this on the court. We simply can’t.”
-- FLAKE CLARIFIED TO REPORTERS his previous comment about any lies from Kavanaugh being disqualifying. He said small matters on which the truth is hard to verify likely wouldn’t rise to that level -- but “if it’s something that’s just clear-cut, you can’t mislead the committee.”
-- SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DEL.) TOLD REPORTERS that a Democratic-majority Senate could confirm a Trump Supreme Court pick from the ranks of conservative circuit court judges -- but someone on the Federalist Society list probably would go nowhere.
-- FLAKE AND
COONS, appearing together this morning, praised each other and the momentary break in the Kavanaugh confirmation fight.
COONS: “It’s a really significant statement that the cooling saucer of the Senate can still, though cracked, perform those functions.”
-- BOTH MEN WERE LESS OPTIMISTIC about the prospects for restoring bipartisanship and civility to the Senate.
FLAKE: “I don’t know how we get back. The incentives are all the other way.”
-- COONS SAID HE HAD A TOUGH conversation with his wife last week about running for re-election in 2020. “I’ll just be blunt: Is this really worth our time? … I said to my wife, ‘I don’t know if this is a good investment, but I know this: If the Senate doesn’t work, our Constitution, our republic, our nation doesn’t work. I cannot abandon this post.’” Coons also noted
SEN. TOM CARPER’S (D-DEL.) primary challenge from the left this year and said, “the politics of my party are beginning to resemble the politics of the other party in ways that concern me.”div contentScore="267"">>
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THE INVESTIGATIONS …
THE INVESTIGATIONS …
-- WSJ’S JOE PALAZZOLO and
MICHAEL ROTHFELD: “Trump Directed Legal Action to Enforce Stormy Daniels’s Hush Agreement”: “President Trump personally directed an effort in February to stop Stormy Daniels from publicly describing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, people familiar with the events say. In a phone call, Mr. Trump instructed his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to seek a restraining order against the former adult-film actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, through a confidential arbitration proceeding …
“Mr. Trump told Mr. Cohen to coordinate the legal response with Eric Trump … The accounts of that effort recently provided to The Wall Street Journal suggest that the president’s ties to his company continued into this year and contradict public statements made at the time by the Trump Organization, the White House and Mr. Cohen.” WSJ
-- SCOOP -- BEN SCHRECKINGER: “GOP operative who sued Trump says FBI referred hacking of her email to Mueller”
-- FINANCIAL TIMES’ KADHIM SHUBBER: “Money laundering expert to leave Mueller team”aside">