BREAKING … THE PRESIDENT this morning caused panic at the
NATO SUMMIT in Brussels. Before 6 a.m. on the East Coast, German news reports indicated that
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP was threatening to pull out of NATO
if countries didn’t up their spending.
AT AROUND 6:20 A.M., Trump -- flanked by John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- said that “tremendous progress has been made,” and NATO member countries would be committing “an additional $33 billion.”
Story Continued Below
-- TRUMP: “We are doing numbers like they’ve never done before.” … “I let them know yesterday … that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment.”
AFTER THE EMERGENCY MEETING, Trump said there was a “great collegial spirit in that room.”
NATO, Trump said, is a “fine tuned machine.”
CLIP AND SAVE … WHAT WILL DRIVE WASHINGTON NUTS … TRUMP ON PUTIN … "He's been very nice to me the times I've met him, I've been nice to him. He's a competitor. Somebody was saying, 'Is he an enemy?' No, he's not my enemy. Is he a friend? No, I don't know him well enough. But the couple of times that I've gotten to meet him, we got along well... I hope we get along well. But ultimately he's a competitor. He's representing Russia. I'm representing the United States. So, in a sense, we're competitors. It's not a question of friend or enemy. He's not my enemy. And hopefully some day maybe he'll be a friend. It could happen. But I just don't know him very well. I met him a couple of times."
ON PUTIN AND MEDDLING: “He may deny it. All I can do is say, ‘Did you?’ and ‘Don’t do it again.’”
ASKED IF HE WOULD change his tune on NATO in a tweet on Air Force One, Trump said he is consistent and a “very stable genius.”
TRUMP SAID “it’s fine” that people are protesting his visit in the United Kingdom because “they like me a lot” there. He called the U.K. a “hot spot” because of the political turmoil.
SIREN ... TRUMP ON IRAN: "At a certain point they're going to call me and say let's make a deal, and we'll make a deal."
LINES OF THE MORNING … TRUMP to PBS’
YAMICHE ALCINDOR (also an MSNBC contributor): “You’re very famous on television.” … When
BLOOMBERG’S MARGARET TALEV introduced herself, the president said, “After all these years I know, Margaret.”
-- ALSO … FALSE!!!! TRUMP said that Ronald Reagan did not win Wisconsin in 1984. He did! The state he didn’t win was Minnesota!
THIS CAME AFTER an emergency session with NATO allies over defense spending. Perhaps an ominous sign: Earlier in the day,
TRUMP showed up 30 minutes late for a meeting centered on Russian aggression.
CONGRESS has been abundantly clear without being rude to the president: NATO is essential.
SPEAKER PAUL RYAN just yesterday said NATO is indispensable! But, as we’ve seen so many times, Trump doesn’t really care what Congress says on these big transformative issues. The Hill has been begging him to pull back on tariffs, go tough on Russia and stop alienating U.S. allies, mostly to no avail.
FACT-CHECK – “How does NATO funding work? Not the way Trump says it does,” by CNN’s Ryan Browne: >https://cnn.it/2LdYcjd
QUOTE OF THE DAY … WALL STREET JOURNAL’S VALENTINA POP (@valentinapop): “Luxembourg PM @Xavier_Bettel gives download of the NATO dinner last night: ‘Trump was in a good mood, he said Europe is a continent he appreciates and which has to develop its defense spending further. But he has wifi on the plane, so we will have to see in the end.’ #NATOSummit.”
WAPO’S PHIL RUCKER in
BRUSSELS: “At NATO dinner last night, Trump bragged about Kim Jong Un summit and said he called golfer Jack Nicklaus to say, ‘They have 1,000 cameras at the Oscars and we had 6,000 cameras in Singapore. The buzz was fantastic,’ an attendee tells WaPo.”
SIREN … BIG DEVELOPMENT IN THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS … THE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND -- the House GOP leadership-aligned super PAC -- will announce today that it raised
$51 MILLION in the second quarter of 2018. That’s more than CLF raised all of last cycle. The super PAC has $71 million on hand, and it’s raised $93 million this cycle.
-- BEFORE YOU ASK … YES, $30 million of that haul is from
SHELDON ADELSON, the Las Vegas casino mogul and prolific Republican donor. But an additional $21 million on top of that is significant and gives Republicans a more-than healthy outside group willing to wage war to keep the majority. Some Republicans and Democrats say the CLF hauls have been landscape-shifting for Republicans’ efforts to keep the majority.
IT HELPS that Republicans have
PAUL RYAN, KEVIN MCCARTHY and
STEVE SCALISE all fundraising for the NRCC, CLF and Protect the House. It also shows that
RYAN has been keeping a break-neck schedule in fundraising -- and, we know from our conversations on the Hill that CLF has been working to integrate McCarthy into its fundraising schedule.
TRUTH BOMB … Dozens of Democrats have been outraising their Republican challengers, which makes this kind of cash even more important. We’ll give you a rundown of who gave what to CLF when its report is filed in the coming days.
****** A message from the Alzheimer’s Association: Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the country. Every hour, Alzheimer’s costs taxpayers $21 million dollars. Today, Alzheimer’s costs the country $277 billion a year and that will quadruple to more than $1 trillion over the next generation. Funding for Alzheimer’s research must increase. Learn more at >alz.org/askcongress ******
BIG MATT NUSSBAUM SCOOP … JUST POSTED … “Marc Short, Trump’s director of legislative affairs, is leaving later this month to join a D.C. consulting firm and teach at UVA”: “Short … is taking a position at Guidepost Strategies consulting firm and will teach at the University of Virginia’s business school, where he received his MBA, and will also serve as a senior fellow at the university’s Miller Center.” >https://politi.co/2uetIaB
NYT’S MIRIAM JORDAN in
LOS ANGELES: “Trump Administration to Speed Reunions of Families Separated at Border”: “The government will stop requiring a litany of steps before a child can be released from a shelter, the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed. It has sued the government over the family separations.
“To speed up the reunions, the government will no longer insist on fingerprinting all adults in a household where a child will live, or require home visits by a social worker. Instead, the authorities will release children to a parent once a familial tie has been established, provided the parent or guardian does not have a criminal record.” >https://nyti.ms/2uc6m5u
Good Thursday morning.
NEXT STOP … THE U.K. … WAPO’S BILL BOOTH and
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD: “‘Not exactly rolling out the red carpet’: Trump visit to Turnberry resort spotlights challenge facing his brand”: “This weekend, President Trump will take a break from visiting heads of state in Europe and detour to this tiny village in Scotland — so he can visit a luxury golf resort named after himself.
“The side trip will allow Trump the president a chance to shine an international spotlight on Trump the brand by staying at Trump Turnberry, a 112-year-old Scottish resort that he bought in 2014.
“But the visit will also highlight a challenge facing many Trump properties since his election. They were built on the premise that the Trump name symbolizes lavish hospitality, but are now trying to survive in an era in which it represents the opposite of hospitality to many in the United States and abroad.” >https://wapo.st/2unSoN2
… THEN MEETING WITH PUTIN: BURGESS EVERETT and
RACHAEL BADE: “Trump sparks Republican rift on Russia”: “Republicans are having a Russian identity crisis. The congressional GOP is openly struggling with the United States’ relationship with Russia during President Donald Trump’s overseas trip this week — with some worried about fraying U.S. alliances and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s growing influence and others pleased to see improved relations and fearful of getting on the wrong side of the leader of their own party. ...
“‘Things that are said to try to create instability, all that does is strengthen Putin,’ said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). ‘I was just in the region last week, and it’s really disturbing to hear the conversations people are having at the highest of levels [about] whether we’re reliable or not.’” >https://politi.co/2uq2pt2