POLITICO Playbook: Dem senator on Mueller probe: ‘If you think you’ve seen wild stuff so far, buckle up’

 In Politics

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-Va.) hosted a dinner Friday night for more than 100 guests at his house on Martha’s Vineyard as part of the DSCC’S annual Majority Trust retreat. OVERHEARD: Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, joking to the crowd: “If you get me one more glass of wine, I’ll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know. If you think you’ve seen wild stuff so far, buckle up. It’s going to be a wild couple of months.”

— SPOTTED IN MARTHA’S VINEYARD at another party last night hosted by Sen. Warner and Connie Milstein at her house in Edgartown: Democratic Sens. Chris Coons (Del.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Ed Markey (Mass.), Dr. Susan Blumenthal, Tammy Haddad, Wyoming Senate candidate Gary Trauner, Heather Podesta and Stephen Kessler, Tom Quinn, Ambassador Tod Sedgwick, Erik Huey, Adam Green, Wade and Lorna Ho Randlett, Carmen Osmond and Adam Bramwell.

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SNEAK PEEK … THE PRESIDENT’S WEEK … Monday: The president will host Jordan King Abdullah and Queen Rania at the White House and then he will go to West Columbia, South Carolina, for an event for Gov. Henry McMaster. Tuesday: The president will meet with the Associated Builders and Contractors national executive committee. …

… Wednesday: The president will have lunch with the secretary of State, he’ll meet with the president of Portugal and then he will go to Fargo, North Dakota, for a rally. Thursday: Trump will travel to Milwaukee and Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. Friday: The president will mark the six-month anniversary of the tax bill.

NEW, per DHS … “CBP has reunited 522 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in their custody who were separated from adults as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative. …

“As of June 20th HHS has 2,053 separated minors being cared for in HHS funded facilities, and is working with relevant agency partners to foster communications and work towards reuniting every minor and every parent or guardian via well-established reunification processes. Currently only 17% of minors in HHS funded facilities were placed there as a result of Zero Tolerance enforcement, and the remaining 83% percent arrived to the United States without a parent or guardian.” The release http://bit.ly/2Ke7r2r


— THE PRESIDENT at 9:12 a.m.: “Democrats, fix the laws. Don’t RESIST. We are doing a far better job than Bush and Obama, but we need strength and security at the Border! Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!”

SUNDAY BEST — SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OKLA.) to CHUCK TODD on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: TODD: “Do you feel as if the White House has been fully transparent with the American public about what they’re trying to do here?” LANKFORD: “I don’t, actually. This has been one of the great frustrations. The White House has not been clear about how bad the Flores settlement is. They’ve tried to say it, and say it, and say it. The challenge is you shouldn’t just allow anyone to come in at any time to view a spot where there are children present.”

— HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY CHAIRMAN MIKE MCCAUL of TEXAS on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: “I think, you know, to set forth a policy and then have to reverse it is not a consistent message obviously, to be candid with you. But I think – I think — I wouldn’t fault the administration on this; I would fault the United States Congress, who has the power to change the laws that will stop this from happening again, and yet we can’t seem to get this done.”

— TOM BOSSERT, Trump’s former homeland security adviser, with GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: “I’m glad to be here to try to explain it because this week has just been gripping imagery and terrible optics for the administration. So part of this was avoidable. The attorney general’s requirement and his memo for zero tolerance said to his us attorneys where practicable and almost from the outset, although it’s an understandable and righteous decision to prosecute any illegal entrant into the country, almost from the outset we didn’t have the capacity to detain these parents and children — together or separately.”

— SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WIS.) speaks with JAKE TAPPER on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: “Well, the most recent information we have from DHS is they have reunited about 21 percent of those children that were separated from their families under this new enforcement policy. … But the Flores decision, for example, really initiated in 1985. And so this — this is just a huge problem.

“We don’t have the capacity to handle all the unaccompanied children, all the family units that are now flooding our border because of a host of a judicial decisions, legal precedent, and laws, I think very well-intentioned, but have negative unintended consequences that have created this — these incentives for people to flood our borders.”

— L.A. TIMES’ CHRISTINE MAI-DUC: “Trump’s immigration agenda forces California GOP candidates to navigate a tricky course”: “Rep. Mimi Walters started last week on message. On Monday, the Irvine Republican tweeted a news story about the tax cuts she helped pass, a central theme of her reelection campaign and her party’s effort to keep control of the House after the November midterms.

“Less than a day later, Walters felt the need to pivot to President Trump’s crisis du jour: Audio of wailing children and photos of kids in detention shelters had sparked bipartisan outrage over Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from parents arrested for crossing the border illegally. …

“Until recently, it seemed most candidates from both parties were content to concentrate on ‘kitchen table’ economic issues this year — Republicans on the effects of Trump’s tax cut package and Democrats on GOP votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. … The issue has vexed both parties for decades, but it hasn’t often become a central issue in national congressional elections. But Trump’s hard-line rhetoric in 2016 drew new voters to the Republican Party and helped him win.” https://lat.ms/2yCh75s

— UP NEXT … ABC’S TARA PALMERI: “Republicans prepare bill allowing migrant children to be detained more than 20 days”: “Republican lawmakers are preparing to vote on a more narrow immigration bill that would allow immigrant children to stay in detention facilities with their parents for more than 20 days, senior White House and Hill officials tell ABC News.

“The bill would eliminate the so-called Flores settlement that requires that children be released from detention after 20 days, fixing a flaw in President Trump’s executive order that mandates that children and parents not be separated during detention. The House is scheduled to vote on a larger ‘compromise’ immigration bill early next week that would include DACA, border security and visas. But the bill is not expected to get enough votes to pass in Congress. Sources tell ABC News that Hill leaders are expected to then vote on the more narrow bill.” https://abcn.ws/2MSJcZy

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WAPO’S JOSH PARTLOW in CORRAL DE MULAS, EL SALVADOR: “U.S. officials separated him from his child. Then he was deported to El Salvador”: “Arnovis Guidos Portillo remembers the authorities in green uniforms telling him that this would only be temporary. They told him that his 6-year-old daughter, Meybelin, should really go with them, he recalled. The holding cell was cold, he said he was told, and the child was not sleeping well. Don’t worry, he was assured, she would take the first bus, and he would follow soon.

“‘What’s best is we take her to another place,’ he recalled a U.S. official telling him. It’s a conversation this 26-year-old farmer from El Salvador has replayed for nearly a month. His daughter was taken from him on his second day in U.S. immigration custody in Texas, he and his lawyers said, and she remains somewhere in the United States. Guidos was deported Thursday back to this small Central American nation, where he lives in a one-room, dirt-floor shack with no electricity and two goats in the yard.”

2020 PREVIEW? … “Elizabeth Warren Condemned Trump in Reno. He Answered in Las Vegas With a Slur,” by NYT’s Alex Burns in Henderson, Nevada: “The clash began Saturday morning with a populist denunciation of President Trump’s policies, delivered in Reno, Nev., by a Democratic senator who is one of his most ferocious critics.

“It intensified within hours, with a sarcastic, racially incendiary jibe — ‘Pocahontas’ — lobbed by Mr. Trump himself during a visit to Las Vegas. And it reached its third, climactic act in yet another arena in this sun-scorched swing state, as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts redoubled her criticism and volleyed the president’s taunt.

“‘Look, he thinks he’s going to shut me up?’ Ms. Warren said, as laughter echoed from her audience in a crowded brewery in this southern Nevada suburb. …

“‘Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas,’ Mr. Trump announced, tagging Ms. Rosen with a derisive nickname of her own. ‘You believe this? In your state?’ … The president, who drew a backlash in November for calling Ms. Warren ‘Pocahontas’ during an event with Navajo military veterans, noted that he had faced calls to apologize for the epithet. ‘I did apologize,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘To the memory of Pocahontas, I apologized.’” https://nyti.ms/2yF66R0

DAVID SIDERS in RENO: “Trump-Warren split-screen offers sneak peek at 2020 campaign”: “It’s a long way from 2020, but Saturday’s split-screen sketched out not only the tone of the next presidential election, but one of the pivotal issues — the president’s immigration policy and its effect on Latino voter turnout.

“Trump largely avoided the controversy surrounding his separation of children and their parents at the border, dismissing any electoral advantage for Democrats amid fallout from his administration’s zero-tolerance policy.

“But Democrats here in Reno saw the border controversy as rocket fuel for their efforts to register and turn out Latino voters in the hopes of ousting Republican Sen. Dean Heller in 2018 — and putting the state out of reach for Trump in 2020.” https://politi.co/2Kg1bXU

— BLOOMBERG’S @LauraLitvan: “Trump mocks John McCain’s ‘thumbs down’ on the Obamacare repeal, tells Nevada Republican convention that ‘it doesn’t matter. We gutted it anyway.’”

— @JenniferJJacobs: “Among those who greeted Trump at airport in Vegas today was billionaire Phil Ruffin, per @ToluseO. Ruffin is owner of Treasure Island casino and Trump’s partner in Trump International Hotel in Vegas. It was Ruffin’s jet Trump flew in to Moscow in 2013.”


— SENATE MAJORITY PAC just dropped another $1,120,997 supporting Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

JARED WATCH – “Kushner: The Palestinian people will ‘like’ the Trump peace plan” – Jewish Insider: “The Trump Administration is expected to make public the much-anticipated Middle East plan ‘soon’ amid the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to engage with the U.S. negotiation team, President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner said in an interview with the Al-Quds daily news publication.

“‘We have continued our work on the plan and on building consensus on what is realistically achievable today and what will endure for the future. If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage; if he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly,’ Kushner said.

“The interview published in Arabic is seen as an attempt by the White House to talk directly to the Palestinian people about a plan, Kushner believes, they will welcome ‘because it will lead to new opportunities for them to have a much better life.’” http://bit.ly/2IkeLYx

— THE FULL transcript of the interview https://nyti.ms/2K3AE45

PLAYBOOK INTERVIEWJoin Anna and Jake for a sit-down with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday at Ajax (1011 4th St. NW). Doors open at 7:50 a.m. RSVP https://bit.ly/2MjxB4x

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