POLITICO Playbook PM: Pence heads to Hawaii to greet remains of fallen soldiers

 In Politics

THE REAL BIG NEWS OF THE DAY … WAPO’S CHELSEA JANES: “Nationals GM Mike Rizzo on trade rumors: Bryce Harper ‘is not going anywhere’”

WSJ SCOOP — REBECCA BALLHAUS, BYRON TAU and PETER NICHOLAS: “John Kelly Has Told White House Staff Trump Asked Him To Stay in Post Through 2020”: “Mr. Kelly told staff he agreed to the president’s request, one of the officials said.” WSJ

— FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: There’s still a decent amount of doubt in the White House that Kelly will last any more than a few months. But it’s all a guessing game!

VP MIKE PENCE is flying to Hawaii today to receive the remains of fallen Korean War soldiers. Before heading west, he’s speaking at the first ever DHS cyber summit in New York today. When in Hawaii, Pence will get briefed by the Indo-Pacific Command.

BREAKING — NYT’S NICK FANDOS and KEVIN ROOSE: “Facebook Has Identified Ongoing Political Influence Campaign”: “Facebook is preparing to announce that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity ahead of November’s midterm elections, according to three people briefed on the matter. …

“The company has been working with the F.B.I. to investigate the activity. Like the Russian interference campaign in 2016, the recently detected campaign dealt with divisive social issues. Facebook discovered coordinated activity around issues like a sequel to last year’s deadly ‘Unite the Right’ white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Coordinated activity was also detected around #AbolishICE.” NYT

Good Tuesday afternoon. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND enlisted OHIO GOV. JOHN KASICH to do an ad for Troy Balderson, the Republican running in a special election in the Buckeye State next week. 30-second spot

TED HESSON — “Durbin calls on Nielsen to resign”: “Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) demanded on Tuesday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resign in the aftermath of thousands of family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. ‘Someone in this administration has to accept responsibility,’ Durbin said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue.

“Durbin quoted U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who in June ordered the Trump administration to reunite families split apart at the border. Sabraw called the separations ‘a chaotic circumstance of the government’s own making.’ Several Democratic lawmakers have urged Nielsen to resign over the crisis, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who tweeted about it in June.” POLITICO

TRADE WARS — “U.S., China Said to Aim to Restart Talks to Defuse Trade War,” by Bloomberg’s Jenny Leonard, Peter Martin and Saleha Mohsin: “Representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to reengage in negotiations … They cautioned that a specific timetable, the issues to be discussed and the format for talks aren’t finalized, but added there was agreement among the principals that more talks need to take place..” Bloomberg

— “Chinese Economy Starts to Feel Tariff Impact,” by WSJ’s Liyan Qi and Grace Zhu in Beijing: “China’s leadership pledged to ensure economic stability as its trade fight with the U.S. started to pinch growth, signaling that a bigger stimulus could be on the horizon. …

“The [Politburo] meeting came as official data showed early Tuesday that China’s business activities faltered in July—the first official data to reflect the impact of U.S. tariffs—adding to signs that trade tensions have started to dent economic growth.” WSJ

— “Trump suspends duty-free status for clothes imports from Rwanda,” by Reuters’ Clement Uwiringiyimana: “The move, initially threatened in March and confirmed on Monday, was seen by many in Washington and Africa as foreshadowing how the Trump administration planned to apply its ‘America First’ trade ideology on the continent.” Reuters

THE INVESTIGATIONS …

MURRAY WAAS in THE NY REVIEW OF BOOKS: “Flynn, Comey, and Mueller: What Trump Knew and When He Knew It”: “Previously undisclosed evidence in the possession of Special Counsel Robert Mueller—including highly confidential White House records and testimony by some of President Trump’s own top aides—provides some of the strongest evidence to date implicating the president of the United States in an obstruction of justice.

“Several people who have reviewed a portion of this evidence say that, based on what they know, they believe it is now all but inevitable that the special counsel will complete a confidential report presenting evidence that President Trump violated the law. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel’s work, would then decide on turning over that report to Congress for the House of Representatives to consider whether to instigate impeachment proceedings. …

“I have learned that a confidential White House memorandum, which is in the special counsel’s possession, explicitly states that when Trump pressured [James] Comey he had just been told by two of his top aides—his then chief of staff Reince Priebus and his White House counsel Don McGahn—that [Michael] Flynn was under criminal investigation.” The New York Review of Books

WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 6:14 a.m.: “The globalist Koch Brothers, who have become a total joke in real Republican circles, are against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade. I never sought their support because I don’t need their money or bad ideas. They love my Tax & Regulation Cuts, Judicial picks & more. I made…..”

… at 6:23 a.m.: “….them richer. Their network is highly overrated, I have beaten them at every turn. They want to protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed, I’m for America First & the American Worker — a puppet for no one. Two nice guys with bad ideas. Make America Great Again!”

… at 6:50 a.m.: “Rush Limbaugh is a great guy who truly gets it!”

… at 7:00 a.m.: “One of the reasons we need Great Border Security is that Mexico’s murder rate in 2017 increased by 27% to 31,174 people killed, a record! The Democrats want Open Borders. I want Maximum Border Security and respect for ICE and our great Law Enforcement Professionals! @FoxNews”.

… at 7:58 a.m.: “Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!” … at 8:03 a.m.: “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”

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