Playbook Power Briefing, presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): TRUMP takes Brussels — House intel to subpoena FLYNN — Search for FBI director RESET — FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: John Kerry’s Kennedy School commencement

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PlaybookPowerBriefBannersmall.jpg Today’s Playbook Power Briefing presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD)
05/24/2017 01:03 PM EDT

By ANNA PALMER (; @apalmerdc), JAKE SHERMAN (; @JakeSherman), DANIEL LIPPMAN (; @dlippman), ZACH MONTELLARO ( ; @ZachMontellaro)


REMEMBER: TODAY is CBO day. The Congressional Budget Office will issue its budgetary impact of the House GOP health care bill. We expect a late-afternoon release.HOW TRUMP’S BUDGET IS PLAYING AROUND THE COUNTRY — NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE: “Trump budget takes aim at Gulf oil revenue" HERALD: “Trump’s cuts would hurt Dade rail plans" MORNING NEWS: “Budget cuts too deep, both sides say" FREE PRESS: “Trump budget stirs pushback in state: Cuts to critical programs hits thousands of seniors, needy people, students" Happy Wednesday afternoon. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS IN BRUSSELS , where he met this afternoon with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. The president said he had a great discussion with the King and that they will work together on various problems, the top being terrorism. More from the president per WSJ’s Carol Lee, today’s pooler: “We are fighting very hard, doing very well under our generals. Making tremendous progress. But when you see something like what happened a few days ago you realize how important it is to win this fight. And we will win this fight." — TRUMP AND THE POPE: Per Carol: “‘He is something,’ Mr. Trump said of the pope. ‘We had a fantastic meeting.’ … ‘We’re liking Italy very, very much and it was an honor to be with the pope,’ Mr. Trump said." WHAT TO EXPECT IN BRUSSELS — REX TILLERSON GAGGLES on AF1 — Highlights: TRUMP’s meeting with the pope went longer than expected. … Trump will press NATO members to up their contributions to the alliance: “I think you can expect the president to be very tough on them, saying ‘Look the U.S. is spending 4 percent. We’re doing a lot. The American people are doing a lot for your security, for our joint security. You need to make sure you’re doing your share for your own security as well." … Trump wants NATO to join the ISIS coalition. … Tillerson discussed the Paris accord with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. … FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — WHAT JOHN KERRY WILL SAY IN CAMBRIDGE — Former Secretary of State John Kerry will give the commencement address at the Harvard Kennedy School’s ceremony this afternoon at 2 p.m. THE ZINGER: “I’m often asked what the secret is to have a real impact on government. Well, it’s recently changed. I used to say, either run for office or get a degree from Harvard Kennedy School. With this White House I’d say, buy Rosetta Stone and learn Russian. … More from Kerry: “A democracy relies on free speech, yes – but it relies even more on the speech being truthful. It is the truth after all that sets us free. And the truth is – no, this is not a normal time. It’s not normal to see a President of the United States decrying ‘so-called judges.’ It’s not normal for the leader of the country that invented the First Amendment to routinely degrade and even threaten journalists. And no, it’s not normal to see the head of the FBI fired summarily because he was investigating connections between Russia and the Presidential campaign of the very man who fired him. And it’s not normal that when you close your eyes and listen to the news, too often the political back and forth in America sounds too much like it does in the kinds of countries that the State Department warns Americans not to travel to." More bites from the speech GETTING READY FOR TRUMP — TARA PALMERI from BRUSSELS — “Trump’s hazy views confuse allies ahead of summit": “Officials from the G-7 countries meeting later this week are crafting the formal statement they’ll issue from the gathering, as is typically done ahead of such staid, prepackaged summits of world leaders. The French are leaning on Trump to clarify whether he wants to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, and Italy hopes he will agree to accept more migrants fleeing war in the Middle East or contribute funds to help Europe deal with the flood of people.“U.S. officials, however, have so far submitted broad points that fail to nail down positions on issues the leaders will discuss Friday and Saturday in Taormina, Italy, according to four foreign officials and one U.S. official reached by POLITICO. ‘We haven’t exactly seen the same situation before,’ said Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the United States who said he had spoken to people involved in the G-7 negotiations. ‘It’s been difficult to find an agreement with the Americans.'" GUESS WHO ELSE IS IN EUROPE? — Former President Obama is in Berlin. He’ll attend a dinner tonight with prominent Germans, including former President Joachim Gauck, to discuss his post-presidency work. Tomorrow he will have a private breakfast with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and later have a conversation with her at the Brandenburg Gate. He will give a speech in Baden-Baden and receive the German Media Prize on Thursday evening and then travel to Edinburgh Scotland for a roundtable hosted by The Hunter Foundation on Friday. Additional details on the Brandenburg Gate event MORE PROBLEMS FOR FLYNN — “Flynn to get hit with House subpoena," by Austin Wright: “The House will join the Senate in slapping subpoenas on Michael Flynn, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, whose panel is investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, said he hoped the committee’s subpoenas to President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser would go out this week. …“Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, declined to comment. Flynn has already rejected requests from the Senate Intelligence Committee for a list of his contacts with Russian officials in the run-up to the presidential campaign. Kelner said Monday that Flynn would invoke his Fifth Amendments rights against self-incrimination." ****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): As list prices for brand drugs continue to rise, employers are partnering with PBMs to keep drug costs under control. In fact, every dollar an employer invests in a PBM service returns six dollars in savings. Learn more at ******THE FIRST FAMILY — “Democrats Ask Deutsche Bank to Produce Documents on Trump Family Loans," by Bloomberg’s Greg Farrell: “Representative Maxine Waters of California and four other Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee asked the Frankfurt-based lender for its internal report about its conduct in the Russian ‘mirror trading’ scandal. They also asked for any internal review of Trump’s business dealings with the bank, descriptions of which have surfaced in news reports. “The lawmakers asked whether the bank’s loans to Trump, made years before the New York developer ran for president, ‘were guaranteed by the Russian government, or were in any way connected to Russia.’ A copy of the letter sent to the bank was reviewed by Bloomberg News. Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the letter." REPLACING COMEY — “Trump administration hits reset in FBI director search," by CNN’s Sara Murray and Eugene Scott: “The team tasked by the White House with finding a new director for the FBI is resetting its search, a senior administration official told CNN. … At one point, former Sen. Joe Lieberman was considered a leading candidate, but Trump has since decided he wants to see a broader range of candidates for the job, the official said. …“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been interviewing candidates for the job, including acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former congressman and FBI special agent Mike Rogers, and Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush. Trump has read reports and recommendations from the interviews and met with a few leading candidates himself, a senior White House official has told CNN. There is no set number of finalists that the President has pledged to interview personally." THE LATEST ON MANCHESTER — “Police Investigate ‘Network’ of Salman Abedi, Manchester Bomber," by NYT’s Katrin Bennhold, Stephen Castle and Nour Youssef: “He recently dropped out of college. He had gone to Syria, a stronghold of the Islamic State. He also went to Libya to see his parents, who had moved back there after two decades in Britain.“A portrait of Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old who carried out Britain’s deadliest terrorist attack since 2005, quickly began to come into focus on Wednesday as investigators raced to track down what the police called his ‘network,’ in the first official confirmation that the police believe Mr. Abedi got help. … At an afternoon news conference, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police confirmed that investigators were looking for accomplices, but he declined to specify whether the police were searching for a bomb maker. … Officials also said that they were looking into Mr. Abedi’s relationship with Raphael Hostey, a British recruiter for the Islamic State who is believed to have been killed in a drone strike last year." — “Alleged Manchester attacker’s father says son is innocent," by The Independent’s Tom Batchelor NEW WOMEN RULE PODCAST — Fran Townsend, the former homeland security adviser for President George W. Bush, confirms that the Trump administration has approached her about replacing ousted FBI Director James Comey in this week’s episode of Women Rule with POLITICO editor Carrie Budoff Brown. Townsend joins two other prominent women from the Bush White House – Candi Wolff, Assistant for Legislative Affairs, and Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant and Director of the Public Liaison Office – to reflect on their stints in the executive branch and offer up advice for the current Republican administration. on iTunes EXPLAINER — “The life and death of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory," by WaPo’s David Weigel: “[Sean] Hannity had invited [convicted hacker and internet businessman Kim] Dotcom to appear on his show for what he said on Twitter would be a ‘#GameChanger’ interview. The implication: that Dotcom would finally offer evidence of his claim that Rich had sent internal DNC documents to WikiLeaks before his death.“All that began to unravel Tuesday afternoon, when Fox News retracted a story that had claimed the same Rich-WikiLeaks connection, telling readers that the article was ‘not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.’ Fox News did not respond to a request for comment, but Dotcom wrote on his website that he would not speak further about his allegations." TODAY’S BEYOND THE BELTWAY — California Democrats rally against Trump’s budget — Cuomo’s approval rating hits three-year high WHAT THE LEFT IS TALKING ABOUT — “In upset, Democrat Pellegrino wins 9th District Assembly seat," by Newsday’s David M. Schwartz“Manchester Republican wins back N.H. House seat; Democrat wins in GOP stronghold of Wolfeboro," by the New Hampshire Union Leader’s Kevin Landrigan — NOTE: Picking up two state legislative seats is a far cry from winning a federal election. But if you’re a Democrat, this could be seen as a sign that the party’s base is energized. The Daily Kos is using the wins as an opportunity to fundraise for Jon Ossoff in Georgia and make calls for Rob Quist in Montana. IN HOLLYWOOD — “Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Definitive Preview," by David Kamp on the cover of Vanity Fair TRANSITIONS — Hamilton Place Strategies announced their 2017 class of new associates and analysts: Julie Barger, Anna Eapen, Declan Garvey, Dylan Gerstel, Helen Hathaway, Kelly Kaler, Eugene Nandwa, Graham Rotenberg, Nathaniel Sizemore, Asha Thanki, Matthew Trail and David Vitek. OUT AND ABOUT — About 500 guests attended the SeriousFun New York Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers last night. The gala raises money for a network of free camps for kids with medical conditions and was started by Paul Newman almost three decades ago. SPOTTED: Former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Julianna Margulies, Alan Alda, Katie Couric, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Clea Newman Soderlund, Lorne Michaels, Richard Plepler, Liz Robbins and Doug Johnson, Bob Forrester, Georgia and Don Gogel and Jill and Alan Rappaport. Pic of the Clintons SPOTTED: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) downtown today on 16th Street before 9 a.m. ****** A message from the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD): One in two Americans rely on their employers to provide health care benefits. So, employers partner with PBMs to provide access to effective medications at the most affordable price. PBMs drive savings in part by using clinical expertise to identify generic alternatives that achieve the same health outcomes for a lower price. With generics accounting for 89 percent of prescriptions filled in 2015, but only 27 percent of drug costs, that represents a savings of $227 billion across the U.S. health care system in just one year. Learn more at ******SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook York Playbook Playbook Jersey Playbook Playbook Playbook Playbook Playbook our political and policy tipsheets

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