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Today's POLITICO Playbook presented by Chevron

 

By ANNA PALMER (; @apalmerdc), JAKE SHERMAN (; @JakeSherman) and DANIEL LIPPMAN (; @dlippman)

 

Listen to today's Audio Briefing | Subscribe on iTunes | Visit the online home of Playbook

 

Driving the Day

Happy Thursday. GO NATIONALS. The deciding game 5 is tonight at 8 p.m. at Nats Park, or, alternatively, on TBS.

-- MUST READ: WAPO's BARRY SVRLUGA in Chicago: "The Nationals survived the wildest day in franchise history. Now they can write new history": "So, once again, a fifth game in the first round. Totally can't handle it. Wouldn't have it any other way." http://wapo.st/2kHRl8Z

TWO SCOOPS TO START OUT YOUR DAY ...

PAUL RYAN RAISED $6 MILLION IN THE 3RD QUARTER. The speaker has raised $39 MILLION for House Republicans so far in 2017. The speaker's team will file the report later today.

-- A Ryan political aide lays out for Playbook what the speaker has done: "Since becoming Speaker almost two years ago -- (sworn in on October 29, 2015) -- Ryan has kept up a frenetic travel schedule in support of House Republican members, while also spending significant amounts of time in Southern Wisconsin (still doesn't travel weekends). In 2017, Speaker Ryan has traveled to 30 states, nearly 65 cities, and has done almost 250 events on the road to help raise funds for Team Ryan, the NRCC, and members of the GOP conference. In DC, Speaker Ryan has done close to 50 events for Republican members, raising them over $4 million."

RYAN has sent nearly $30 million to the NRCC this year, including $2 million in August and $1 million in September. The NRCC has raised $72 million in 2017 -- meaning almost half the money came from the speaker himself.

-- RYAN'S UPCOMING SCHEDULE: "During the upcoming recess week, Ryan will spend time in Wisconsin meeting with constituents, and then will travel to Texas and New York to raise additional funds (and to speak at the annual Al Smith dinner)."

-- ON TAX REFORM, Ryan is continuing his push. He is speaking at Heritage Foundation this morning and is also scheduled to do an interview with talk radio host Laura Ingraham. He also participated in a "Sip n' Skimm" about tax reform with theSkimm founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg. theSkimm interview http://bit.ly/2xAyDBk

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- KASIE HUNT'S NEW SHOW: "KASIE D.C." KASIE HUNT's new show debuts Sunday night on MSNBC from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. She'll interview newsmakers, reporters and preview the week ahead.

... AND ZEKE MILLER TO THE A.P.: Zeke will be a White House reporter. He has been at Time since 2013. He starts his new job later this month.

THE LATEST IN CALIFORNIA -- "Deadly and vast California wildfires could gain momentum," by AP's Ellen Knickmeyer in Sonoma, California and Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco: "Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to descend on the areas north of San Francisco where at least 23 people have died and at least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed.

"'It's going to continue to get worse before it gets better,' state fire Chief Ken Pimlott said Wednesday. Entire cities had evacuated in anticipation of the next wave, their streets empty, the only motion coming from ashes falling like snowflakes. ... The 22 fires spanned more than 265 square miles as they entered their fourth day, many of them completely out of control. Modern, strategic attacks that have kept destruction and death tolls low in recent years just haven't worked against their ferocity." http://bit.ly/2wP1oe7

-- HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE are still missing in California.

TODAY'S BIG STORY -- TRUMP'S OBAMA-LIKE STRATEGY -- "Fed up with Congress, Trump whacks Obamacare with his pen," by Adam Cancryn: "President Donald Trump is trying to do with the stroke of a pen what Republicans in Congress could not - bring about the end of the Obamacare markets. Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday directing an overhaul of major federal regulations that would encourage the rise of a raft of cheap, loosely regulated health insurance plans that don't have to comply with certain Obamacare consumer protections and benefit rules. They'd attract younger and healthier people - leaving older and sicker ones in the Obamacare markets facing higher and higher costs.

"It's not yet clear how far the administration will go, or how quickly it can implement the president's order. But if successful, the new rules could upend the way businesses and individuals buy coverage - lowering premiums for the healthiest Americans at the expense of key consumer protections and potentially tipping the Obamacare markets into a tailspin. 'Within a year, this would kill the market,' said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation who previously worked at former President Barack Obama's HHS Department." http://politi.co/2geDiXh

TWO IMPORTANT STORIES ON IRAN ...

-- "'He threw a fit': Trump's anger over Iran deal forced aides to scramble for a compromise," by WaPo's Anne Gearan: "President Trump was livid. Why, he asked his advisers in mid-July, should he go along with what he considered the failed Obama-era policy toward Iran and prop up an international nuclear deal he saw as disastrous? He was incensed by the arguments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and others that the landmark 2015 deal, while flawed, offered stability and other benefits. He did not want to certify to Congress that the agreement remained in the vital U.S. national security interest and that Iran was meeting its obligations. He did not think either was true. 'He threw a fit,' said one person familiar with the meeting. '... He was furious. Really furious. It's clear he felt jammed.'" http://wapo.st/2z0QJhf

-- "Ehud Barak, Israeli Hawk and No Friend of Iran, Urges Trump to Keep Nuclear Deal," by NYT's Mark Landler: "Ehud Barak, the former Israeli leader known for his hawkish views on Iran, said it would be a 'mistake' for President Trump to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, both because it would play to Iran's advantage and because it would scuttle any hope of a negotiation with North Korea. ...

"'Even if America decides to pull out of it,' Mr. Barak said in an interview on Tuesday, 'no one will join -- not the Chinese, not the Russians, not even the Europeans. It will serve the Iranians.' Iran, he pointed out, is complying with the terms of the agreement. It will 'continue to harvest' the economic benefits of the deal. But if Mr. Trump disavowed it, that would give the Iranians a pretext for resuming their drive toward a nuclear 'breakout' capability, particularly in the latter years of the agreement, when the economic benefits are outweighed by Iran's desire to join the club of nuclear states." http://nyti.ms/2kG6Eiu

****** A message from Chevron: We're piloting a program that uses drones to keep an eye on Chevron wells, tanks, and pipelines-all to keep DOERS and what they're doin' safer. Watch the video: http://politi.co/2y61G3U ******

FOR YOUR RADAR -- "America's shadow war in Africa," by Wesley Morgan and Bryan Bender: "America's little-known war on terrorists in Africa is becoming more perilous as the U.S. deploys growing numbers of troops to the continent's most lawless regions, including the part of Niger where four special operations soldiers died in an ambush last week. The escalation is occurring with little public debate - and, some military experts say, too little attention from top decision-makers in Washington. The U.S. military presence in the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions has grown to at least 1,500 troops, roughly triple the official number of American troops in Syria, according to Pentagon and White House figures.

"As with Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, the dispatch of hundreds of additional U.S. troops to countries like Niger, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Uganda and South Sudan is another instance where President Donald Trump's 'America First' rhetoric hasn't kept his administration from being drawn deeper into far-flung war zones. And the U.S. lacks a comprehensive strategy for pursuing its mission in Africa, military and intelligence experts told POLITICO. 'I don't think there is any congressional oversight in this,' said Michael Shurkin, a former CIA analyst specializing in Africa who is now a researcher at the Rand Corp., a Pentagon-funded think tank." http://politi.co/2kJ1LVP

IF YOU READ ONE THING: "Rohingya Recount Atrocities: 'They Threw My Baby Into a Fire,'" by NYT's Jeffrey Gettleman in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh: "Hundreds of women stood in the river, held at gunpoint, ordered not to move. A pack of soldiers stepped toward a petite young woman with light brown eyes and delicate cheekbones. Her name was Rajuma, and she was standing chest-high in the water, clutching her baby son, while her village in Myanmar burned down behind her. 'You,' the soldiers said, pointing at her. She froze. 'You!' She squeezed her baby tighter.

"In the next violent blur of moments, the soldiers clubbed Rajuma in the face, tore her screaming child out of her arms and hurled him into a fire. She was then dragged into a house and gang-raped. By the time the day was over, she was running through a field naked and covered in blood. Alone, she had lost her son, her mother, her two sisters and her younger brother, all wiped out in front of her eyes, she says. Rajuma is a Rohingya Muslim, one of the most persecuted ethnic groups on earth, and she now spends her days drifting through a refugee camp in Bangladesh in a daze." http://nyti.ms/2ziryrt

--@gettleman: "More I've covered conflict for 20 yrs. During this story, I called my wife & said: I just had worst interview of my life."

TRUMP STICKS TO THE SCRIPT -- "Trump sells middle-class benefits of his tax plan in Pennsylvania," by Matt Nussbaum: "President Donald Trump took a victory lap in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, touting strong economic numbers as proof of his administration's success, and calling on Congress to pass major tax reform to continue to spur growth. The Trump White House has delivered 'incredible results and results that in many cases the media hates to report,' the president declared, ticking off numbers such as low unemployment, growing GDP and a surging stock market - trends that were well under way during President Barack Obama's second term. ... Trump largely hewed to his script, avoiding lengthy riffs on other topics and promising expansive benefits from a tax plan that has yet to be fully detailed by the White House or tax writers in Congress. 'You better get it passed,' Trump said of Congress. 'They will, I know.'" http://politi.co/2yhVZiK

WHO THE PRESIDENT LISTENS TO -- "Trump unleashes himself from would-be handlers, lashing out mornings, nights and weekends," by LATimes' Noah Bierman, Cathleen Decker and Brian Bennett: "When President Trump agreed last month with Democrats to strike a deal granting legal status to so-called Dreamers brought to this country illegally as children, his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, was all for it. Another Trump confidant disagreed: Fox host Sean Hannity made clear in a phone call and on his show that Trump must draw a harder line on broader immigration enforcement as his price. Trump sided with Hannity, according to a person close to the White House. The result was a list of demands unveiled Sunday night -- conditions seemingly guaranteed to thwart a bipartisan deal." http://lat.ms/2yezc5T

-- GABE SHERMAN in Vanity Fair, "'I Hate Everyone in the White House!' Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear the President is 'Unraveling'": http://bit.ly/2yiJxjs

JUST POSTED -- "Pro sports teams were once reliable patrons of Trump's hotels. Not anymore," by WaPo's Tim Bontemps and David Fahrenthold: "Until recently, the Trump SoHo hotel served as a kind of luxe clubhouse for NBA teams visiting New York.

"At least 12 teams -- more than a third of the league -- had stayed there since it opened in 2010. The players loved it so much they became walking ads for the Trump brand: Superstar Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder praised the hotel in the press. Toronto Raptors all-star Kyle Lowry gave interviews on the lobby's couch. Then-Thunder forward Steve Novak tweeted about the $20 room-service lattes.

"Now, it's not the same. All but one of the 12 teams said they have stopped patronizing the Trump SoHo since Donald Trump launched his presidential bid in 2015, according to team officials. Among the latest to depart were the Raptors, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards, who all dropped Trump SoHo this summer and made different arrangements for the upcoming season. Another NBA team quit staying at Trump's hotel in downtown Chicago. And at least three National Hockey League teams and one Major League Baseball club have stopped frequenting Trump hotels in the same time, according to interviews with team officials." http://wapo.st/2yewwFi

RUSSIA WATCH -- DARREN SAMUELSOHN: "President's lawyers may offer Mueller a meeting with Trump": "Donald Trump's lawyers are open to having the president sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller, according to a senior White House official, as part of a wider posture of cooperation with the special counsel's Russia probe. If Mueller doesn't request an interview by Thanksgiving, Trump's lawyers may even force the issue by volunteering Trump's time, the official said. The White House believes such an interview could help Mueller wrap up the probe faster and dispel the cloud of suspicion over Trump.

"A meeting with Mueller could bring serious risks for Trump-exposing him to questions about everything from potential obstruction of justice over his firing of FBI Director James Comey to what Trump might know about Kremlin support for his presidential campaign. But the official suggested that the White House has no reason to stonewall Mueller. 'Whatever happens with regard to whether or not, or how, the special counsel might want to interview the president, there's no reason to expect that would be combative,' the senior White House official explained." http://politi.co/2xAIze7

-- "Trump campaign data firm cooperating with House on Russia inquiry," by Elana Schor: "A data analysis company that played a major role in Donald Trump's presidential campaign is sharing material as part of the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian manipulation of the 2016 election. Cambridge Analytica, which began working with the Trump campaign in mid-2016 on voter targeting, 'has been asked by the House Intelligence Committee to provide it with information that might help its investigation,' a company spokesman said on Wednesday." http://politi.co/2i6r6s2
TRUMP'S THURSDAY -- Trump will sign his executive order on health care. In the afternoon, he and the first lady will participate in the announcement of Kirstjen Nielsen as his Homeland Security Secretary.

BRINGING IN THE CLOSER -- "Former President Barack Obama to campaign for Ralph Northam in Richmond," by Richmond Times-Dispatch's Andrew Cain: "Obama will return to the campaign trail next Thursday to stump for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam at a rally in Richmond. ... Northam tweeted 'Fired up, ready to go!' and provided a link through his campaign website where supporters can R.S.V.P. for a ticket at RalphNortham.com/Obama." http://bit.ly/2i4dAFb

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Playbook Reads

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a puppy presented by Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov during their meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. The presidents met at the sidelines of a summit of leaders of ex-Soviet nations in Sochi. (Maxim Shemetov, Pool Photo via AP)

PHOTO DU JOUR: Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a puppy presented by Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, on Oct. 11. | Maxim Shemetov/Pool Photo via AP

FOR STEVE BANNON -- "D.C. Republicans to Grimm: Stay in Staten Island: House GOP leaders want no part of the former congressman a year removed from of prison and pursuing his old seat," by Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan: "'I just think it's difficult for someone who copped a plea and went to jail for tax evasion to have credibility with colleagues,' [Ohio Rep. Pat] Tiberi said. 'He'd be a big distraction here on the House floor and a big distraction in committee (hearings). It would be a circus - and, again, I like Michael Grimm.'" http://politi.co/2z1lx1m

FED WATCH -- "Mnuchin pushing Trump to pick Jerome Powell for Fed," by Nancy Cook, Ben White and Victoria Guida: http://politi.co/2yYHzSc

HOLLYWOODLAND -- HILLARY CLINTON TALKS TO CNN ABOUT WEINSTEIN -- She talked with Fareed Zakaria for this Sunday's edition of "Fareed Zakaria GPS": "I was - I was just sick. I was shocked. I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way. And, you know, like so many people who've come forward and spoken out, this was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past." ZAKARIA: "Would you have called him a friend?"

CLINTON: "Yes, I probably would have, and so would so many others. You know, people in Democratic politics for a couple of decades appreciated his help and support. And I think these stories coming to light now, and people who never spoke out before having the courage to speak out, just clearly demonstrates that this behavior that he engaged in, cannot be tolerated and cannot be overlooked."

-- "Weinstein Company Was Aware of Payoffs in 2015," by NYT's Megan Twohey: "[I]nterviews and internal company records show that the company has been grappling with Mr. Weinstein's behavior for at least two years.

"And in the waning hours of last week, as he struggled to retain control of the business in the wake of allegations first reported by The New York Times, Harvey Weinstein fired off an email to his brother and other board members asserting that they knew about the payoffs, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the confidential communication.

"Lance Maerov, the board member who handled the contract negotiations, acknowledged in an interview that he had been told of settlements, but said that he had assumed they were used to cover up consensual affairs. Mr. Maerov said that his chief concern had been whether Mr. Weinstein's behavior posed a legal liability for the business, and that after receiving assurances that no company money was used and that no complaints against Mr. Weinstein were pending, he had approved the contract." http://nyti.ms/2gy2tkd

--"Democrats dogged by Weinstein cash: The party tries to move past the sordid story, but Republicans aren't letting it go just yet," by Gabe Debenedetti: "It took nearly a week, but leading Democrats hope they've done enough to wash their hands of politically uncomfortable ties to Harvey Weinstein. But Republicans aren't letting go just yet. ... [E]ven as top Democratic lawmakers pledged to donate the cash they'd gotten from Weinstein, the [DNC] itself stopped short of promising a full giveaway. The committee pledged 'over $30,000' of Weinstein donations to political groups that work to elect women. The only problem? The DNC had raised over $300,000 from Weinstein, a fact Republicans have been quick to exploit." http://politi.co/2kJ3Ml0

-- "How Top NBC Executives Quashed The Bombshell Harvey Weinstein Story," by Yashar Ali and Lydia Polgreen in HuffPost: "According to multiple sources inside and outside of NBC News who worked on the aborted story, [NBC News president Noah] Oppenheim related to [Ronan] Farrow what Weinstein's lawyers had said in complaint to NBC: that Farrow had a conflict of interest because Weinstein had helped revive the career of Farrow's estranged father, director Woody Allen. Weinstein's representatives would later use a similar line of attack when the story landed at The New Yorker. The magazine, known for its rigorous vetting process, saw no conflict of interest." http://bit.ly/2yh0ydK

-- "NBC: We didn't sit on Weinstein story," by Michael Calderone: "NBC News President Noah Oppenheim told staffers at a town hall meeting Wednesday that 'the notion that we would try to cover for a powerful person is deeply offensive to all of us.' ... Weinstein's ability to court and bully the press is increasingly coming into view, from leaking self-serving stories to gossip columns to threatening lawsuits and withholding access in response to unflattering coverage." http://politi.co/2xBkEjK

****** A message from Chevron: This is a story about energy, safety, and some truly high-flyin' doin'. We're piloting a program that uses drones, HD imaging, and thermal mapping to help keep a close eye on Chevron wells, tanks, and pipelines-all to keep DOERS and what they're doin' safer. Watch the video: http://politi.co/2y61G3U ******

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION - "Obama and Tillerson Join Army Navy Country Club," by Washingtonian's Elaina Plott: "It looks like President Obama has become a member of not two but three country clubs in the area. The 44th president accepted an invitation in May to join Army Navy Country Club, according to a current member. He was an honorary member throughout his two terms-'all presidents are granted membership during their presidency,' the member tells us-and paid the initiation fee of roughly $75,000 to join as a citizen.

"That Obama forked over the fee is a departure from his memberships at Columbia Country Club ... and Robert Trent Jones -- he's considered an honorary member at both, responsible only for annual dues. ... Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined this summer as well. The source says Tillerson is 'approachable' and 'personable' and adds that both men have been on tee sheets in the last month, with Obama last playing on October 3." http://bit.ly/2i4qdAf

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN has a new book coming out on Nov. 17 from Simon & Schuster called "Everything You Need to Know about Social Media (Without Having to Call A Kid)". She told us why she wrote the book: "I had the first anchor-blog in 2003, GretaWire, and I thought I knew everything about social media. Then about a year and a half ago, I asked one of my 25 year-old nieces a question about Snapchat, and she said 'seriously?' Then I realized I didn't know much about social media and started researching and writing the book. It's for everybody over the age of 40 who has questions about social media and it's for everybody under age 40 who's sick of answering social media questions." $13.38 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2xyXR87

 

Playbookers

SPOTTED: Florida Gov. Rick Scott dining last night at Landini Bros. Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria.

SPOTTED at last night's Congressional Football Game at Gallaudet University (which the Capitol Police won, 7-0): Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Reps. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.), Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), James Comer (R-Ky.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) ...

... Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Mark Walker (R-N.C.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Charlie Dent (R-Pa.).

OUT AND ABOUT -- The Pearl Street Warehouse, the 300-person live music venue at The Wharf developed by Nicholas Fontana, Bruce Gates and Henry Gandy, held its grand opening party last night with a performance by soul artist Booker T. Jones. SPOTTED: Brian Kenner, Monty Hoffman, Brian Kennedy, Chris Cox, Dan McCarthy, Dan Meyer, Dana Harris, Dave Schnittger, Doug Davenport, Douglas Smith, Elizabeth Pinkerton, Gloria Dittus, Jill Sommers, Mark Ein, Melissa Maxfield, Mike Sommers, Missy Edwards, Nick Lewis, Ron and Sara Bonjean, Sean Spicer, Sue Andres, Tom Quinn, Tim McKone, Todd Walker, Tom Lankford and Will Kinzel.

-- Charlie Palmer Steak held an opening party last night after its remodel and to show off its new menu last night. SPOTTED: Bret Baier, Sean Miles, Katy Ricalde, Edward Buckley, Brian and Morgan Johnson, Chef Charlie Palmer, John Arundel, Jonathan Capehart and David Tafuri.

OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC -- NBC News threw correspondent Jeff Rossen a party to celebrate the release of "Rossen to the Rescue: Secrets to Avoiding Scams, Everyday Dangers, and Major Catastrophes" at the HGU hotel last night in NYC. Names of the drinks at included "Rossen on the Rocks," "Vodka to the Rescue" and "Ruffino Wine." Pic of Jeff and Al Roker http://bit.ly/2ycJW7a ... $16.99 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2ycLj5W

SPOTTED: Don Nash, Dylan Dreyer, Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones, Bill Ratter, Sarah Hines, Max Shifrin, David Corvo, Jill Martin, Andrea Canning, Ayman Mohyeldin, Ari Melber, Rashida Jones, Matt Carluccio, Thomas Mazzarelli. Jenna Wolfe, Tovah Avigail.

TRANSITIONS -- J.P. FREIRE is joining Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.)'s office as communications director and policy adviser. He previously was associate administrator for public affairs at EPA and communications director for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). ... Eldad Yaron has started as an associate producer for "Tucker Carlson Tonight"; Yaron has been with Fox News for 12 years.

BIRTHDAYS OF THE DAY: "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace is 7-0. He recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with Lorraine and whose daughter Sarah gets married this weekend. A fun fact about Chris: "Lorraine and I got a second house in Annapolis this summer. I now go to boat school at least once a week. As we were going to bed the other night, I started studying a chart of the Chesapeake Bay. Lorraine watched this and said, 'Who are you?'" Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2hCQpOF

--Jorge Guajardo, senior director at McLarty Associates and former Mexican Ambassador to China. How he views the Trump presidency as going: "I am Mexican, no answer necessary past that fact." ... A fun fact about Jorge: "When I arrived in Washington, I was a lapsed instrument-rated private-pilot (there was no general aviation flying in China). A few months after I arrived, James Fallows took me and a friend for a flight on his plane. I became immediately hooked and regained my proficiency. I now fly out of Leesburg, Virginia, and, this summer, my son started taking flying lessons too. We ended the summer by flying together, with him as my co-pilot, to Burlington, Vermont." Q&A: http://politi.co/2zi9dKP

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Walt Roberts, the pride of Georgetown, South Carolina

BIRTHDAYS: Glen Bolger, partner at Public Opinion Strategies, is 55 ... NYT's Michael Barbaro is 38 ... John Engler, formerly Business Roundtable president and former Michigan governor ... Ann Morrell (hat tips: Cate and Clare) ... former Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) is 85 ... The Atlantic's Rosie Gray ... Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) is 66 ... Dave Rosenbaum ... NPR's Jack Speer ... David Yepsen, the pride of Jefferson, Iowa ... Lauren Cavataro ... Matt Bernstein ... Jamie Hennigan, VP of comms at NAM, celebrating from the Minnesota Economic Club as NAM continues its tax reform roadshow (h/t Hannah Salem) ... Debbie Berkowitz, senior fellow at National Employment Law Project (h/t Jon Haber) ... Will Jennings ... Ashley Flanagan ... Sarah Bain McLaughlin ... JoAnn Conrad ... Collin Berglund ... Alastair Fitzpayne ... Andi Ball ... Fendy Mesy ... Lauren Blanchard, national correspondent at Fox News' (h/t Daniel Swartz) ... Chris Coffey, head of the NY practice for Tusk Strategies and Tusk Ventures (h/t Patrick Muncie) ...

... Kate Nocera, D.C. bureau chief at BuzzFeed (h/t Ben Smith) ... Eric Wilson, digital director for Ed Gillespie's campaign ... Bloomberg health reporter Anna Edney ... Francis Thomas, VP at JPMorgan Chase ... Emily Beyer (h/t Stephanie Cutter) ... Andrea Washington ... Thomas Bowman is 38 ... Chelsea Welch ... CRC's Elizabeth Ray ... Zack Gober ... Juliegrace Brufke, celebrating by getting drinks with friends at Charlie Palmer's tonight after House votes. ... Matthew J. Shuman ... Patsy Woods Martin, executive director of Annie's List ... Joshua Hone of Quorum, celebrating at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (h/t Alex Wirth) ... Anna Cabral, senior adviser at the Inter-American Development Bank and former U.S. treasurer ... Amber Lyons ... Josh Benoit ... Simon Limage is 41 ... Christian Nagel, senior counsel at McGuireWoods ... Google's Jennifer Zeidman Bloch ... Matt Flavin is 39 ... Liz Dawson ... David Oleksak ... former Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) is 54 ... Megan Cheney ... Kenneth Ahn ... Ted Mondale ... Rebecca Mason (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

****** A message from Chevron: This is a story about energy, safety, and some truly high-flyin' doin'. We're piloting a program that uses drones, HD imaging, and thermal mapping to help keep a close eye on Chevron wells, tanks, and pipelines-all to keep DOERS and what they're doin' safer. Watch the video: http://politi.co/2y61G3U ******

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