POLITICO Playbook: Could infrastructure week make a comeback?

A BUNCH OF INTERESTING CAMPAIGN FINANCE NUGGETS … 1) THIS IS NEW … THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE has spent nearly $400,000 buying 25,500 copies of Rep. DAN CRENSHAW’S (R-Texas) book “Fortitude” for donors. They used the book to entice Republicans to give money to the NRCC. ONE OF THE SOLICITATIONS FROM THE NRCC READS: “As a strong supporter of Conservative values, I thought you’d like to get one, so we’re putting one aside for you for 24 hours. Claim it now to make sure you receive your exclusive signed copy of my book, Fortitude. Not only will you be getting this great book, but you’ll also be supporting efforts to take back President Trump’s Conservative House majority in November. Don’t miss out on your chance to read about the divisive mob politics that is coming to characterize America, described and explained from my perspective.”A PARTY OFFICIAL said the promotion raised the NRCC $1.5 million. A campaign filing made public Wednesday showed $240,800 of these purchases from Politics and Prose. The party official told us the remainder of the purchases totalling $394,800 will appear on the next campaign finance filing. CRENSHAW’S book has been a New York Times bestseller for six weeks. 2) MIKE BLOOMBERG’S presidential campaign spent $982,651.53 with the law firm Venable in April. The Markham Group, which did Bloomberg’s events, got nearly $3.3 million from the Bloomberg campaign.3) THE BIGGEST donors to JOE BIDEN’S super PAC are Anita and Joshua Bekenstine. Joshua is a managing partner at Bain and Company. They gave Unite the Country $500,000.4) SENATE LEADERSHIP FUND, the Republican super PAC run by allies of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, got $5 million from Charles Schwab and his wife, Helen. 5) VIA ZACH MONTELLARO: “Sen. Loeffler’s husband cuts $1 million check to pro-Trump super PAC”6) TIMOTHY MELLON — a member of the Mellon family of banking fame — gave $10 million to the Trump super PAC America First Action.7) AMERICA FIRST ACTION spent $1.3 million on legal fees, per The Washington Post.DEPT. OF TAKING THINGS FOR GRANTED … BURGESS EVERETT and HEATHER CAYGLE: “Biden’s outreach to Dems lags as Trump syncs up with GOP”PAGING MITCH AND MARK MEADOWS! GOP’ERS WANT INFRASTRUCTURE! … CNN’S MANU RAJU and LAUREN FOX: “Internal divisions linger as GOP push grows for new recovery package”: “Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he’s pushing Trump to get behind a plan to pump more money into infrastructure projects — even though that idea has gotten an icy reception from McConnell so far.“‘I want to do infrastructure,’ Graham … said to CNN. ‘I told Trump, this is the time. We got it teed up. This is the time to go big. … It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give a facelift to the country.’ “Graham isn’t alone. Other powerful members of the Senate GOP Conference, including two committee chairmen — Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Roger Wicker of Mississippi — want to move on an infrastructure package to pump money into roads, bridges and transportation projects. “‘I think June doesn’t need to come and go without a phase four,’ said Wicker, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, referring to a fourth major rescue package after nearly $3 trillion has been approved by Congress this spring alone.”Good Thursday morning.WHERE’S TONY FAUCI? On JULIA ROBERTS’ Instagram page, that’s where! This is part of the One Campaign’s #PasstheMic promotion, which has health care professionals taking over famous people’s pages. FAUCI also did a YouTube video with ROBERTS where she called him “maybe the coolest man on the planet right now.” The 7:20 clip… AND WHERE’S MICHAEL COHEN? GETTING OUT OF PRISON … WSJ, by Sadie Gurman: “President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen will be released from a federal prison due to coronavirus concerns and is expected to serve the rest of his three-year sentence from home, a person familiar with the matter said. Mr. Cohen will be leaving the facility in Otisville, N.Y., on furlough Thursday, pending processing to home confinement, the person said.”CLIP AND SAVE … LARRY KUDLOW in the White House on Wednesday: “The Congressional Budget Office has just redone its estimates. And after a rough — a predictably rough pandemic contraction in the second quarter, they’re looking for a 21 and a half percent growth rate, sir, in the third quarter. … Which would actually, if it came true, would be the biggest growth quarter in American history, or since the data were compiled.”… AND THE FLIP SIDE: “Behind Bond Market’s Stall, Investors See Hard Times Ahead,” by WSJ’s Sam Goldfarb: “Yields on U.S. government bonds have stalled near all-time lows, a sign that investors are anticipating a difficult economic recovery and years of aggressive monetary stimulus. For much of the past month and a half, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note has hovered around two-thirds of a percentage point—a shade above its all-time low of around 0.5% set in March.“Taken together, the low level of the 10-year yield and its stability suggest that bond investors not only hold a dreary economic outlook but also are unusually confident in that perspective, a contrast with the optimism that has carried stocks to their highest levels since early March.” WSJDETROIT NEWS on TRUMP’S VISIT TO MICHIGAN TODAY: “In swing through Michigan, Trump to find records — unemployment, floods and 5,000 COVID deaths,” by Jordyn Grzelewski and Keith Laing: “President Donald Trump is set to arrive Thursday in Michigan, a state beset by the historic challenges of record 22.7% unemployment, a 500-year flood in the middle of the state and the loss of more than 5,000 residents to the COVID-19 pandemic. … “The [visit to Ford Motor Co.’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti] is one stop on a presidential tour touting efforts by American manufacturers to produce medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the pandemic. It comes amid a campaign season upended by candidates’ inability to host such traditional events as rallies — and as Trump seeks to shore up support in Michigan, a battleground state considered vitally important to his reelection chances.”JOHN HARRIS column: “Once again, Democrats are caught in the Trump Trap”: “Former President Barack Obama since leaving office rarely wades into debates about his successor, but President Donald Trump’s performance during the pandemic compelled him to raise his voice.“He was sharp by his standards, though hardly by Trump’s, in a rapidly leaked conference call with former employees in which he credited the incumbent with ‘an absolute chaotic disaster.’ He was a bit more understated in a video commencement address in which he didn’t mention Trump by name but said selfish and short-sighted values are ‘why things are so screwed up.’ Trump responded with customary overstatement, alleging a murky ‘Obamagate’ conspiracy and saying his predecessor was ‘grossly incompetent.’“And so in highlighting what he sees as Trump’s obvious failures, Obama also illuminated a less obvious Trump success: The incumbent president has managed to make American politics the first arena of national life to return to something recognizable as normal.“Campuses are still closed, and may yet be for months to come. Most people still don’t feel it’s safe to visit aging relatives. Baseball has yet to have opening day.“But political culture has returned to something close to its pre-pandemic state. People are filled with resentment and malice toward their fellow citizens. They are arguing over eccentric or ephemeral controversies. They are sanctimoniously and often hypocritically denouncing the sanctimoniousness and hypocrisy of their opponents. Above all, many influential voices across the ideological spectrum are united in the assumption that the most important subject—constant and all-consuming — to be thinking and talking about is Trump.”THE NUMBERS — “Coronavirus Case Count Tops Five Million World-Wide,” by WSJ’s Chong Koh Ping– NYT: “Lockdown Delays Led to at Least 36,000 More Deaths, Models Find”: “If the United States had begun imposing social-distancing measures one week earlier in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the pandemic, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.“And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than when most people started staying home, a vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated.”A NEW CHALLENGE: “Trump’s promise of ‘Warp Speed’ fuels anti-vaccine movement in fertile corners of the Web,” by WaPo’s Isaac Stanley-Becker: “Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he has grown increasingly concerned that the name of the initiative has led to misconceptions about what is being put at risk by speeding up the effort — only financial investments, not safety or efficacy.“‘People don’t understand that, because when they hear “Operation Warp Speed,” they think, “Oh, my God, they’re jumping over all these steps and they’re going to put us at risk,”’ Fauci said in an interview Wednesday with The Washington Post.” UPDATE — “Under pressure, Trump administration weighs extending National Guard deployments,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein and Daniel Lippman: “Trump administration officials are preparing plans to extend the federal deployment of more than 40,000 National Guard members performing coronavirus relief work across the country, after scores of lawmakers moved to pressure President Donald Trump to keep the Guards in place past June.“Four people familiar with the matter said the administration is prepared to extend the deployments through July, which would maintain federal funding for troops administering Covid-19 tests, disinfecting nursing homes and performing other public safety duties in nearly every state and federal territory. An extension would also help thousands of Guard members qualify for federal retirement and education benefits for which they would otherwise fall only one day short of obtaining.“White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley did not confirm or deny whether Trump planned to authorize an extension past the current cutoff date of June 24, saying that ‘We will continue monitoring the impact of coronavirus in the states and will work to ensure they are equipped to respond.’” POLITICOVEEPSTAKES — “Warren pivots on Medicare for All in bid to become Biden’s VP,” by Alex Thompson: “In the thick of primary season, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden brawled over Medicare for All: He called her approach ‘angry,’ ‘elitist,’ ‘condescending’; she shot back anyone who defends the health care status quo with industry talking points is ‘running in the wrong presidential primary.’“Six months later, with Biden the presumptive nominee and Warren in the running for VP, she is striking a more harmonious chord. ‘I think right now people want to see improvements in our health care system, and that means strengthening the Affordable Care Act,’ she told students at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics this week, while adding that she still wants to get to single payer eventually.“The shift is the latest public signal Warren has sent Biden’s way in recent weeks that she wants the job of vice president — and wants Biden to see her as a loyal governing partner despite their past clashes, which go back decades.” POLITICODEM KUMBAYA — “Bernie Sanders, seeking peace with Joe Biden, asks his own delegates to turn down the volume,” by WaPo’s Sean Sullivan– “Hillary rakes in millions for Biden campaign,” by Marc Caputo: “Hillary Clinton collected $2 million for Joe Biden’s new joint fundraising committee with the Democratic National Committee this week — an enormous one-night haul for the once cash-strapped campaign. …“The campaign and DNC last week began working fully in unison, which President Trump and the GOP have been doing for years. Trump and Republicans had a nearly $190 million cash on hand advantage at the end of March.” POLITICOALLY MUTNICK: “GOP leaders rebuke Republican House candidate over insulting social media posts”: “House GOP leaders distanced themselves Wednesday night from the Republican nominee for a hotly contested California congressional district, after POLITICO’s reporting revealed dozens of social media posts on his accounts that demeaned Muslims and immigrants.“The National Republican Congressional Committee abruptly yanked Ted Howze, the party’s nominee against vulnerable freshman Rep. Josh Harder (D-Calif.), from its Young Guns program for top recruits. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a stern warning to Howze, whom he endorsed personally before the primary election in March.“In a statement, McCarthy said he and NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer of Minnesota ‘will take immediate action’ if Howze ‘is found to be the originator of these posts.’ Howze’s campaign has told POLITICO that he denies writing them personally, suggesting other, unidentified individuals had access to his accounts. … “The statements came less than a day after a second POLITICO story about Howze’s past social media activity. McCarthy and the NRCC did not comment after the initial story, on May 6, which detailed posts in which Howze called the Islamic prophet Muhammad a rapist and a pedophile, suggested prominent Democrats were responsible for murder and accused Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) of ‘hitting the crack pipe too hard.’”TALKER … CBS’ “Tooning out the News” with ALAN DERSHOWITZ: 3:59 clipTRUMP’S THURSDAY — The president will leave the White House at noon en route to Detroit. He will arrive at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at 1:40 p.m. He will head to Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., and arrive at 2:10 p.m. Trump will participate in a listening session with African American leaders at 2:15 p.m., followed by a tour of the components plant at 3 p.m. He will deliver remarks at 3:20 p.m. Trump will depart at 4:10 p.m. and return to Washington. He will arrive at the White House at 6:15 p.m.LONG READ … WSJ: “The Day Coronavirus Nearly Broke the Financial Markets,” by Justin BaerYIKES — “After New Coronavirus Outbreaks, China Imposes Wuhan-Style Lockdown,” by NYT’s Javier HernándezLARA SELIGMAN, ANDREW DESIDERIO and BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN: “Senior officials advised against Trump emergency arms sales to Saudis”: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disregarded the advice of high-level officials at the State Department, Pentagon and within the intelligence community in invoking an emergency waiver last year to circumvent congressional review of billions of dollars in arms sales to the U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf region, according to two former administration officials and three congressional sources.“That decision was under investigation by a government watchdog who was fired last week at Pompeo’s urging, and it has fueled renewed accusations from lawmakers that the Trump administration bucked the will of Congress and even violated the law when it fast-tracked the weapons sales. … “[D]uring meetings last spring of the National Security Council at several levels, high-level career and political officials from the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community agreed that there had been no change in Tehran’s behavior to justify invoking emergency authorities and advised against doing so, according to a former administration official who attended the meetings.” POLITICOMUCK READ — “Trump’s Vaccine Chief Has Vast Ties to Drug Industry, Posing Possible Conflicts,” by NYT’s Sheila Kaplan, Matthew Goldstein and Alexandra Stevenson: “The chief scientist brought on to lead the Trump administration’s vaccine efforts has spent the last several days trying to disentangle pieces of his stock portfolio and his intricate ties to big pharmaceutical interests, as critics point to the potential for significant conflicts of interest.“The scientist, Moncef Slaoui, is a venture capitalist and a former longtime executive at GlaxoSmithKline. Most recently, he sat on the board of Moderna, a Cambridge, Mass., biotechnology firm with a $30 billion valuation that is pursuing a coronavirus vaccine. He resigned when President Trump named him last Thursday to the new post as chief adviser for Operation Warp Speed, the federal drive for coronavirus vaccines and treatments. …“But the Moderna stock is just one piece of his pharmaceutical portfolio, much of which is not public. And some ethics and financial securities experts have voiced concerns about the arrangement Dr. Slaoui struck with the administration.“In agreeing to accept the position, Dr. Slaoui did not come on board as a government employee. Instead, he is on a contract, receiving $1 for his service. That leaves him exempt from federal disclosure rules that would require him to list his outside positions, stock holdings and other potential conflicts. And the contract position is not subject to the same conflict-of-interest laws and regulations that executive branch employees must follow.” NYTWATCH THIS SPACE — “Ex-Green Beret nabbed in exec’s escape has lived on the edge,” by AP’s Adam Geller: “Wednesday, after months as fugitives, the 59-year-old [Michael] Taylor and his 27-year-old son, Peter, were arrested in Massachusetts on charges accusing them of hiding [former Nissan CEO Carlos] Ghosn in a shipping case drilled with air holes and smuggling him out of Japan on a chartered jet. Investigators were still seeking George-Antoine Zayek, a Lebanese-born colleague of Taylor.“[Paul] Kelly, now serving as the attorney for the Taylors, said they plan to challenge Japan’s extradition request ‘on several legal and factual grounds.’ ‘Michael Taylor is a distinguished veteran and patriot, and both he and his son deserve a full and fair hearing regarding these issues,’ Kelly said in an email.” APCOURT WATCH — “Supreme Court stops House Democrats from seeing secret Mueller material for now,” by WaPo’s Robert Barnes and Ann Marimow: “The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped House Democrats for now from seeing secret grand jury material from Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether President Trump obstructed the special counsel’s work.“The court, without noted dissent, agreed to a request from the Justice Department to put on hold a lower court’s decision granting the House Judiciary Committee some previously undisclosed material from Mueller’s probe.“The action could mean that Congress will not receive the full Mueller report — without redactions of certain grand jury material — until after the November election, or perhaps not even during lawmakers’ current term, which ends Jan. 3.” WaPoSend tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at [email protected].BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Rick Reichmuth, Fox News meteorologist. How he’s celebrating: “Well, last year was a big one, so this year I’ll be remembering that trip to Puglia and dreaming of when that can happen again. At 51, and in Brooklyn during Covid, it’s probably best to just binge some Netflix and pour a few gin and tonics.” Playbook Q&ABIRTHDAYS: Arthur Brooks is 56 … AP’s Deb Riechmann … Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones reporter … Abigail P. Gage … Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer for The New Yorker and CNN chief legal analyst, is 6-0 … Fred Frommer, head of the sports business practice at Dewey Square … Joshua Henne of White Horse Strategies … Jennifer Treat … Mike Podhorzer … Susan Hansen … Robert Opacki (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Beth Dozoretz … Steven Newmark … Jeffrey Kluger, editor at large at Time … Krista Ritacco … Brent Del Monte of BGR … IMF’s Ross Rattanasena … Mary Ann Gomez Orta, president and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute … former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is 69 … former Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) is 51 … former Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) is 62 … CNBC’s Steve Liesman is 57 … Monica Klein, co-founder of Seneca Strategies, is 31 …… Katharine Cooksey, press secretary for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelect … Matt Appenfeller (h/t Jessica Church) … BBC presenter and Spectator chairman Andrew Neil is 71 … former Irish President Mary Robinson is 75 … Lacey Rose, VP at 617MediaGroup … Mike Viqueira is 6-0 … Mosheh Oinounou … City and State’s Tom Allon is 58 … N.Y. Daily News’ Michael Gartland … Gillian Reagan … Grace Barnes … Anna Smith Lacey, executive director of the Hungary Initiatives Foundation, is 35 … Edelman’s Amy Larkin Long … Rachel Phelps Bayens … Darin McKeever is 46 … Baupost Group’s Seth Klarman is 63 … Maria Devarakonda … Hampton Cokeley … Brandon Pollak is 4-0 … Dick Obermann … Erika Gutierrez Sheridan … Wally Hsueh … Jessica Lahey is 5-0 … Rebecca Shaw … Ken Herman … Emily Bucci … Kathryn Carlson

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