Good Thursday morning. UPDATE ON D.C.’S BRUTAL DECEMBER: If Republican leaders had their way, they would pass a monthlong government funding bill next week before the Dec. 8 shutdown and deal with all the fiscal madness — the debt limit, shutdown politics and boosting spending caps — in January. Three problems: defense hawks want more military money, the GOP would need cooperation from Senate Democrats to get this done and moderate Republicans are increasingly nervous about punting on a DACA deal.

NEW IDEA GAINING TRACTION AMONG TOP REPUBLICANS — CONGRESS would pass a funding bill next week that would keep government open until Dec. 22. This would, in theory, give leaders time to work out a deal to boost spending caps — a priority for defense hawks, and many Democrats. On Dec. 22, Congress would pass that spending cap deal, along with another stopgap measure to keep government open until sometime in January. Leaders would use that time to hammer out a full-year funding bill.

Story Continued Below

WHY WOULD DEMOCRATS GO FOR THIS? Well, it’s not clear they would. But it gives them a leverage point in January to get a DACA deal and would avoid a government shutdown at Christmas.

LET’S BE REAL: AT THIS POINT no one knows how the next 31 days will go.

— WAPO’s ED O’KEEFE and SEAN SULLIVAN: “Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the second-ranking Senate Democrat and a lead negotiator on spending matters, said he is encouraging his colleagues to join him in blocking spending legislation if the legal status of ‘dreamers’ isn’t resolved. President Trump announced in September that he will end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in early March, putting hundreds of thousands of dreamers — immigrants brought to the United States as children — at risk of deportation early next year.” http://wapo.st/2Aj0qvn

**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh

SEUNG MIN KIM, COLIN WILHELM and BERNIE BECKER: “Senate GOP clears key hurdle on taxes: But several major issues remain unresolved ahead of an approaching floor vote”: “The Senate set the stage Wednesday for possible passage of its tax bill later this week, voting to begin formal debate after a day of wheeling and dealing for enough Republican votes.

“On a party line 52-48 vote, the Senate moved to formal debate on the GOP legislation, which Republicans are hoping to pass before the end of the year so they can take a key legislative victory into the 2018 elections after a year of disappointments on other major bills. …

“[R]epublican leaders still have a litany of issues to resolve before the bill gets across the finish line, which they hope will be by week’s end. Those issues include an expected ruling from the Senate parliamentarian that could rule out a companion measure to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one Senate aide said, although other sources downplayed how problematic that issue is.

“Another factor, which would rile the White House, is a proposal to cut the corporate tax rate to 22 percent instead of 20 percent to free up money for a more generous child tax credit. In a key concession, Senate Republicans agreed to increase the tax deduction offered to businesses that don’t pay corporate taxes, called ‘pass-throughs,’ according to two GOP senators, a move meant to win over Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

“Another GOP holdout, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, voted to move the bill forward after assurances that other legislation would be passed to stabilize the health insurance market if Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate is abolished in the tax bill as planned. And GOP senators said they had made progress on a ‘trigger’ mechanism to raise taxes or cut spending that would kick in if the bill fell short of economic growth projections, a change sought by Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona and James Lankford of Oklahoma.” http://politi.co/2zDvLpr

— IT’S WORTH NOTING: Republican leadership seems intent on pushing the narrative that they are going to start a formal conference negotiation between the House and Senate bills. But some tell us it would be much easier if the House just swallowed the Senate’s legislation.

THE BIG PICTURE — NANCY COOK: “Trump still hasn’t mastered the art of dealing with Democrats”: “For all of President Donald Trump’s bragging about his negotiation skills, he has yet to cut any major deals with Democrats – including on his administration’s top priority, tax reform. Repeatedly, Trump has undercut his own efforts at bipartisanship on everything from an overhaul of the tax code to DACA to health care. …

“And as the Senate plans to vote on its tax bill this week, there are few signs that any Democrats intend to join the Republicans. On Wednesday night, senators voted to proceed with their consideration of the tax bill along a strict party-line vote. That’s after months of Trump individually calling Democratic senators from the Oval Office and his trip to Asia; traveling with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp to her home state of North Dakota to deliver a tax speech; and inviting Heitkamp, along with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), to the White House for dinner.

“Heitkamp has also met with other top White House officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and dined with the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both top advisers, at their Kalorama home, said a Heitkamp aide. But in this hyper-partisan environment, there is little incentive for Democratic lawmakers to help the White House pass any major legislative victory. And policy-wise, the Senate tax bill offers almost no catnip for them.” http://politi.co/2neINYq

INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE — “Trump veers past guardrails, feeling impervious to the uproar he causes,” by WaPo’s Phil Rucker and Ashley Parker: “Again and again, Trump veered far past the guardrails of presidential behavior. But despite the now-routine condemnations, the president is acting emboldened, as if he were impervious to the uproar he causes. If there are consequences for his actions, Trump does not seem to feel their burden personally. The Republican tax bill appears on track for passage, putting the president on the cusp of his first major legislative achievement.

“Trump himself remains the highest-profile man accused of sexual improprieties to keep his job with no repercussions. Trump has internalized the belief that he can largely operate with impunity, people close to him said. His political base cheers him on. Fellow Republican leaders largely stand by him. His staff scrambles to explain away his misbehavior — or even to laugh it off.” http://wapo.st/2ngNQb4

— “John Kelly’s losing battle with Trump’s Twitter feed: While the chief of staff has taken steps to control information in and out of the Oval Office, the president still uses the service to scan fringe websites that pop up in his mentions,” by Annie Karni: “Trump’s increasingly incendiary Twitter feed, which remains outside Kelly’s control, has short-circuited [Kelly’s] attempt at creating a functional system for controlling the flow of information into the Oval Office. Twitter has allowed the president to continue accessing fringe websites and viewing racist videos simply by scanning his ‘mentions,’ according to two former aides who have observed how he uses the site.

“Trump doesn’t use the direct-message function on the website, which would allow people he follows to privately share links with him — but he often looks at tweets that mention his handle, and picks up links and videos there. The conversation on Twitter then often dictates his thinking. ‘Everybody’s talking about this,’ he will tell his top aides in the West Wing, referring to a clip or an article he saw circulating among the small group of Twitter users he follows.” http://politi.co/2Aq52QQ

****** A message from PhRMA: How much are hospitals marking up medicine prices? According to new Moran Company analysis, hospitals mark up medicine prices nearly 500 percent. The analysis of 20 medicines also found a hospital is paid 2.5 times what the biopharmaceutical company, who brought the medicine to market, receives. Read more: http://onphr.ma/2hSaqox ******

WHAT’S ON TRUMP’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 9:23 p.m.: “Funny to hear the Democrats talking about the National Debt when President Obama doubled it in only 8 years!” … at 9 p.m.: “‘Had the information (Crooked Hillary’s emails) been released there would have been harm to National Security….’ Charles McCullough Fmr Intel Comm Inspector General” … at 8:09 p.m.: “The only people who don’t like the Tax Cut Bill are the people that don’t understand it or the Obstructionist Democrats that know how really good it is and do not want the credit and success to go to the Republicans!” …

… at 8:03 p.m.: “The House of Representatives seeks contempt citations(?) against the JusticeDepartment and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump. Big stuff. Deep State. Give this information NOW! @FoxNews” … at 8:02 p.m.: “.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”

INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT — The British prime minister has already hit back against Trump promoting a fringe hate group. NEW — LONDON MAYOR SADIQ KAHN — (@SadiqKhan) at 4:59 a.m. Eastern: “President Trump has used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country. It’s increasingly clear that any official visit from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.”

TRUMP’S THURSDAY — Trump will meet with the Crown Prince of Bahrain. He and Melania Trump will also participate in the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.

ON NORTH KOREA — “U.S. warns North Korean leadership will be ‘utterly destroyed’ in case of war,” by Reuters’ Josh Smith in Seoul and Michelle Nichols at the UN: “The United States warned North Korea’s leadership it would be ‘utterly destroyed’ if war were to break out after Pyongyang test fired its most advanced missile, putting the U.S. mainland within range, in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.” http://reut.rs/2j42ZI7

— “U.S., China hold low-key military talks amid NKorea tensions,” by AP’s Matthew Pennington: “U.S. and Chinese generals engaged in an unusual set of security talks on Wednesday, just hours after North Korea’s most powerful missile test yet, focused on how the mighty American and Chinese militaries might communicate in a crisis. … [T]he low-profile and unpublicized meeting at the National Defense University in Washington was taking place amid signs China is more willing at this time to discuss how the two world powers would manage an even worse emergency on the divided Korean Peninsula.” http://bit.ly/2AloefY

— “What North Korean photos say about new ballistic missile,” by AP’s Eric Talmadge: http://bit.ly/2Bl48BR

MORE ON MATT LAUER — Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh and Elizabeth Wagmeister: “As the co-host of NBC’s ‘Today,’ Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified. On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act. He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they’d slept with, offering to trade names. And he loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: ‘f—, marry, or kill,’ in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.” http://bit.ly/2AHqmBz

— “NBC Receives at Least 2 New Complaints About Matt Lauer,” by NYT’s Ellen Gabler, Jim Rutenberg, Mike Grynbaum and Rachel Abrams: “In 2001, the [then-‘Today’ producer] said, Mr. Lauer, who is married, asked her to his office to discuss a story during a workday. When she sat down, she said, he locked the door, which he could do by pressing a button while sitting at his desk. (People who worked at NBC said the button was a regular security measure installed for high-profile employees.) The woman said Mr. Lauer asked her to unbutton her blouse, which she did. She said the anchor then stepped out from behind his desk, pulled down her pants, bent her over a chair and had intercourse with her. At some point, she said, she passed out with her pants pulled halfway down. She woke up on the floor of his office, and Mr. Lauer had his assistant take her to a nurse.” http://nyti.ms/2iiK9zQ

— “Matt Lauer accused of sexting NBC intern and staffers,” by N.Y. Post’s Mara Siegler and Emily Smith: “Matt Lauer has also been accused of sexting female staffers at NBC, allegedly sending lewd messages and revealing pictures to women including a young intern. Sources tell Page Six that the reason he was fired so quickly by NBC News is that the messages, saved by an NBC employee whom he approached while they were in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, ‘showed incontrovertible proof of inappropriate sexual behavior on his part.’ It is believed the first woman to come forward and complain about Lauer is a junior production worker who was at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as an intern, where she was first approached by Lauer.” http://pge.sx/2Ajrloz

— “Why Matt Lauer’s Firing Feels Different: He wasn’t just another media cad. He was the epitome of the safe, pleasant morning show journalist,” by Joanna Weiss in POLITICO Magazine: http://politi.co/2ngNgtU

HOW IT’S HANDLED ON THE HILL — “How Congress handles sexual harassment: ‘535 policies,’” by Elana Schor and Genevieve Glatsky: “The mushrooming scandal over sexual harassment in Congress and its secretive system for handling complaints has yet to zero in on another troublesome reality on Capitol Hill: What counts as harassment in one lawmaker’s office might not be considered that in another. That’s because individual lawmakers’ offices effectively function as lone entities that formulate their own internal policies for employee behavior. And the Office of Compliance, the arbiter of misconduct complaints that provides harassment training now required in the House and Senate, does not provide templates. …

“To better understand the scope of the Hill’s workplace culture, POLITICO asked all 535 House and Senate offices — plus four delegates — about whether they had a harassment policy in place and whether it included a training program. Of the offices that shared part or all of their internal policy, all the Senate offices defined harassment as including ‘suggestive or lewd remarks, including sexual innuendo’ as well as ‘displaying sexual or pornographic images, regardless of the medium used (e.g. virtual, digital, paper, etc.).’ But most of the House offices’ policies were less specific, issuing a general prohibition on ‘verbal or physical conduct or activity’ among the behavior that creates a hostile work environment.” http://politi.co/2AoeLah

SPECIAL COUNSEL UPDATE — “Jared Kushner met with special counsel about Flynn,” by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and Kara Scannell: “Jared Kushner met earlier this month with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Mueller’s team specifically asked Kushner about former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who is under investigation by the special counsel, two sources said. Flynn was the dominant topic of the conversation … The conversation lasted less than 90 minutes … Mueller’s team asked Kushner to clear up some questions he was asked by lawmakers and details that emerged through media reports. One source said the nature of this conversation was principally to make sure Kushner doesn’t have information that exonerates Flynn.” http://cnn.it/2zPkdDo

— “Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talks,” by CNN’s Kara Scannell, Elise Labott and Michelle Kosinski: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has postponed an anticipated grand jury testimony linked to his investigation into Michael Flynn amid growing indications of possible plea deal discussions. Additional witnesses were expected to be questioned soon including a public relations consultant hired by Flynn’s lobbying firm who was given an early December date deadline to appear before the grand jury, according to a person at the company. Ahead of the delay, the impression was that the testimony needed to happen soon, the source said. ‘Time seems to be of the essence,’ said the source at Sphere Consulting, the PR firm where the consultant worked.” http://cnn.it/2zA6IDm

— THE ROGER STONE-WIKILEAKS NEXUS: “Political humorist identified as Roger Stone’s link to WikiLeaks: Sources,” by ABC News’ Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Ali Dukakis: “Former Trump adviser and longtime political troublemaker Roger Stone has been asked repeatedly how he knew, seemingly in advance, that WikiLeaks was going to publish damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And he has repeatedly refused to answer, saying he had a ‘go-between’ who did not wish to be named. On Tuesday, however, Randy Credico, a New York comedian and political activist who hosts his own radio show, tweeted a picture of a congressional subpoena compelling him to appear on Dec. 15 before the House Intelligence Committee … Credico has been identified as the intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and will face questions from investigators about those relationships.” http://abcn.ws/2zPg6r8

WILD STORY — “Woman’s effort to infiltrate The Washington Post dated back months,” by WaPo’s Beth Reinhard, Aaron C. Davis and Andrew Ba Tran: “The failed effort by conservative activists to plant a false story about Senate candidate Roy Moore in The Washington Post was part of a months-long campaign to infiltrate The Post and other media outlets in Washington and New York, according to interviews, text messages and social media posts that have since been deleted. Starting in July, Jaime Phillips, an operative with the organization Project Veritas, which purports to expose media bias, joined two dozen networking groups related to either journalism or left-leaning politics. She signed up to attend 15 related events, often accompanied by a male companion, and appeared at least twice at gatherings for departing Post staffers.

“Phillips, 41, presented herself to journalists variously as the owner of a start-up looking to recruit writers, a graduate student studying national security or a contractor new to the area. … Phillips’s encounters with dozens of journalists, which have not been previously reported, typically occurred at professional networking events or congratulatory send-offs for colleagues at bars and restaurants. She used three names and three phone numbers to follow up with Post employees, chatting about life in Washington and asking to be introduced to other journalists.” http://wapo.st/2AezhcS

— Philip Bump (@pbump): “So far, Project Veritas has caught Post staffers saying: – The opinion page is opinionated … – The owner of the paper helped craft its slogan … – We aren’t jumping to conclusions on Russia investigation … The Post has caught Veritas: – Trying to plant a fake story of sexual assault”.

JUSTICE NEWS — Kelly Cohen (@politiCOHEN_): “NEW: AG Jeff Sessions announced the first new DEA field office in 20 years in Louisville, Ky., to fight opioid crisis in the Appalachian area”.

–HMM – “DOJ shuts down question from CBS News about affirmative action” – CBSNews.com: “At a Justice Department news conference Wednesday, CBS News legal correspondent Paula Reid was repeatedly cut off by a DOJ spokesperson as she attempted to ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the Civil Rights division’s investigations into systemic discrimination … It was a question his spokesperson advised the attorney general not to answer. He complied and offered no response. Reid was reprimanded by the spokesperson for asking a question that was not on the topic of the news conference, which was on anti-opioid law enforcement initiatives. She pointed out that Sessions had already fielded off-topic questions from another reporter on Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate race and on sanctuary cities.” With video http://cbsn.ws/2Aj68uX

ON THE TRAIL — Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA): “The pastor of the church where Roy Moore is having an event tonight says the networks’ pool camera can only shoot tight shots of Moore because they fear al Qaeda would use other angles to plan an attack.”

WHOA! – “Senate GOP campaign arm stole donor data from House Republicans,” by Kevin Robillard and Elena Schneider: “Staffers for Senate Republicans’ campaign arm seized information on more than 200,000 donors from the House GOP campaign committee over several months this year by breaking into its computer system, three sources with knowledge of the breach told POLITICO. The unauthorized raid on the [NRCC’s] data created a behind-the-scenes rift with the [NRSC], according to the sources, who described NRCC officials as furious. … [I]t has spotlighted Senate Republicans’ deep fundraising struggles this year, with the NRSC spending more than it raised for four months in a row.

“Multiple NRSC staffers, who previously worked for the NRCC, used old database login information to gain access to House Republicans’ donor lists this year. The donor list that was breached is among the NRCC’s most valuable assets, containing not only basic contact information like email addresses and phone numbers but personal information that could be used to entice donors to fork over cash — information on top issues and key states of interest to different people, the names of family members, and summaries of past donation history. The list has helped the NRCC raise over $77 million this year to defend the House in 2018.” http://politi.co/2AlxAs5

SPOTTED: REINCE PRIEBUS and CHRIS CHRISTIE having dinner last night in a back booth at Capital Grille. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) both separately stopped by the table to chat.

FLOODING THE ZONE — “We asked every senator for their reaction to Trump’s anti-Muslim retweets,” by PBS Newshour’s Lisa Desjardins and Daniel Bush: “So far, 45 senators have responded. Of these responses, 26 Democrats and three Republicans criticized the tweets, two Democrats and 11 Republicans said they haven’t seen them, and three declined to comment.” http://to.pbs.org/2jwnCMs

HAPPENING TODAY — David Brody (@TheBrodyFile): “Vice President Mike Pence sits down with me one-on-one Thursday morning at the U.S. Naval Observatory. Lots of ground to cover! Clips release Thursday afternoon and part 1 of the interview airs on Friday’s 700 Club!”

YAMICHE ALCINDOR is leaving the New York Times to become PBS NewsHour’s White House correspondent. (h/t Morning Media’s Michael Calderone)

YOU’RE INVITED — Our first live podcast taping next Thursday night (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. at Sixth and I. Our inaugural guests: MICHAEL BARBARO, host of the New York Times’ hit podcast “The Daily,” DCCC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DAN SENA and NRCC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOHN ROGERS. And a panel of POLITICO stars: RACHAEL BADE, SEUNG MIN KIM and ANNIE KARNI. Get your tickets now! http://bit.ly/2hWK7tF

MORE JOURNALISTS FALL — “NPR Chief News Editor Departs After Harassment Allegations,” by NPR’s Merrit Kennedy and David Folkenflik: “NPR Chief News Editor David Sweeney has left the company following allegations of sexual harassment filed against him by at least three female journalists. … [S]enior manager Edith Chapin will resume her role as executive editor, assuming duties that Sweeney held most recently. … As NPR has previously reported, one former NPR producer said that Sweeney unexpectedly kissed her in an encounter in 2002 while they were in a car on loan for a story.

“In 2007, an NPR journalist said that Sweeney attempted to kiss her when they went out for drinks to discuss her career. … A third journalist, NPR editor Lauren Hodges, said that Sweeney repeatedly made her the recipient of unwanted attention and unsolicited gifts while he was her supervisor in a way that made her deeply uncomfortable.” http://n.pr/2i4oqYP

— Paul Farhi (@farhip): “And in still more harassment news: @cnn tells me it dismissed Teddy Davis, senior producer of @jaketapper’s ‘State of the Union’ program, over behavior ‘that does not align with the standards and values of CNN.’ Three women had complained about Davis.”

— @JakeTapper replies: “This tweet is accurate. When CNN executives were told about these complaints, they reacted swiftly and appropriately, as they should. Workplaces need to be safe and I am fully supportive of CNN’s action.”

IF YOU WATCH ONE THING — @businessinsider: “.@megynkelly details how she was allegedly sexually harassed by Roger Ailes #2017IGNITION”. 3-min. video http://bit.ly/2AgaODP

GARRISON KEILLOR — Star Tribune’s Neal Justin: “‘I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,’ he told the Star Tribune by e-mail minutes after MPR’s statement. ‘I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.’ The 75-year-old humorist who helped build MPR into a dynasty seemed more resigned and defensive than apologetic.

“‘It’s astonishing that 50 years of hard work can be trashed in a morning by an accusation,’ he said in a Facebook post Wednesday evening. ‘I always believed in hard work and now it feels sort of meaningless. Only a friend can hurt you this badly. I think I have to leave the country in order to walk around in public and not feel accusing glances.’” http://strib.mn/2zBmduW

****** A message from PhRMA: According to new analysis from the Moran Company, hospitals mark up medicine prices, on average, nearly 500 percent. The analysis of 20 medicines also found a hospital is paid 2.5 times what the biopharmaceutical company, who brought the medicine to market, receives. While hospital markups lead to higher costs for patients, employers and payers, these markups are often overlooked in conversations about medicine costs. As the provider market continues to become more concentrated and the number of medicines being administered in hospital-owned facilities is growing, the amount hospitals mark up medicine prices needs greater scrutiny. http://onphr.ma/2Ba0TOa ******

VALLEY TALK – “Andy Rubin, Android Creator, Steps Away From Firm Amid Misconduct Report,” by NYT’s Daisuke Wakabayashi: “A former Google executive who is widely credited with creating Android smartphone software has taken a leave of absence from the start-up he now runs, the company said on Wednesday — a day after a report that he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate while he was at Google. The executive, Andy Rubin, was the subject of an internal Google investigation in 2014 after the female employee complained about the relationship … The inquiry found that the relationship was inappropriate because the woman worked on the Android team while Mr. Rubin was leading it.” http://nyti.ms/2i2Kh2A

MEDIAWATCH — “N.Y. Times editorial board issues rare call to action to oppose GOP tax bill,” by Cristiano Limo: “The New York Times editorial board openly urged voters to contact their congressional representatives to express opposition to the Senate GOP tax reform bill on Wednesday, a rare move by one of the most prominent editorial boards in the country. ‘This morning, The New York Times Editorial Board is tweeting here to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation’s fiscal health,’ the board wrote on The New York Times opinion section’s official Twitter account.

“The @nytopinion account’s Twitter bio was changed to say the editorial board was ‘temporarily taking over’ the platform. In a series of tweets, the account listed the phone numbers for the congressional offices of several key Republican senators in the ongoing debate over the GOP tax bill. They included Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bob Corker of Tennessee, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Jerry Moran of Kansas.” http://politi.co/2ilCSiB

— “Congressional press office yanks RT’s credentials,” by CNN’s Hadas Gold: “In a letter addressed to T&R Productions LLC, the production company behind RT America, the Executive Committee of the Congressional Radio & Television Correspondents’ Galleries said they unanimously voted to withdraw the credentials after the company was forced by the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent earlier this month.” http://cnnmon.ie/2nhfF2H

— “Nazi Sympathizer Profiled by The Times Loses His Job,” by NYT’s Richard Perez-Pena: “A Nazi sympathizer who was profiled recently in The New York Times and his wife and brother-in-law have lost their jobs, after the article prompted an outpouring of hostility to the restaurant that employed them, both he and the restaurant said.” http://nyti.ms/2AITCIb

PLAYBOOK METRO SECTION – “The Russian billionaire next door: Putin ally is tied to one of D.C.’s swankiest mansions,” by WaPo’s Ros Helderman and Alice Crites: “When Washington’s grand Haft mansion near Embassy Row changed hands in 2006, it was one of the most expensive home sales in the history of the city — and one of its most mysterious. The 23,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom home — featuring Italian marble floors and a chandelier that had once hung in the Paris Opera House — was sold by discount retail magnate Herbert Haft’s widow for $15 million in cash to a company incorporated in Delaware …

“[Now] interviews and documents reveal for the first time that the mansion is connected to a Russian billionaire who is a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a longtime business associate of Paul Manafort, the recently indicted former chairman of President Trump’s campaign. The Washington Post found that for more than a decade, Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska has secretly held ties to one of Washington’s most prestigious addresses, a property in the heart of the city that is surrounded by powerful political figures and foreign embassies.” http://wapo.st/2zQF1KX

SUNDAY SO FAR – NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie to discuss their new book

— “Fox News Sunday”: W.H. national security adviser H.R. McMaster … Panel: Ret. Gen. Jack Keane and Michele Flournoy … Panel: Karl Rove, Jennifer Griffin, Jason Chaffetz, Juan Williams. Power Player: George Shultz

PLAYBOOK INBOX – DAVE COOK’s last Christian Science Monitor breakfast is today with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — “Fifteen years and 672 breakfasts later, Dave Cook will be stepping aside from hosting The Monitor Breakfast, an event for respectful, decent conversation between the Washington press corps and powerful people in politics, business and society. … Dave is retiring and moving to California to be closer to his kids. Washington Bureau Chief Linda Feldmann will take over as the host of the breakfast. She’ll have the honor of taking the breakfast over the 4,000 mark.”

SPOTTED: Former HHS Secretary Tom Price eating dinner last night at Tosca. … Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Greta Van Susteren dining at Sonoma last night … Corey Lewandowski last night at the Trump International Hotel

OUT AND ABOUT — Subject Matter partners Steve Elmendorf, Paul Frick, Jimmy Ryan and Dan Sallick kicked off the holiday party season and welcomed a crowd to their new space at 1201 New York Ave. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.), Eric Schultz, Ned Price, Stephanie Cutter, Patti Solis Doyle, Nick Calio, Robert Fisher, Brian Rice, Curtis LeGeyt, Mike Rock, Lou Constantino and Michael Paese.

SPOTTED at the Kennedy Center for an MSNBC event celebrating Chris Matthews’ new book “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit” — pic by Tasos Katopodis/MSNBC http://bit.ly/2jwXOQxpic by Howard Fineman http://bit.ly/2kcuL8w ($13.04 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2kfdlZi): MSNBC president Phil Griffin, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Mark Shriver, Dr. William Kennedy Smith, former Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Bret Baier.

SPOTTED at the MPAA’s annual holiday party last night: MPAA CEO Charlie Rivkin, outgoing MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd, Mary Margaret Valenti, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the White House’s Mary Elizabeth Taylor, Google’s Lee Dunn, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), John Larson (D-Conn.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Matt Gaetz (R-Calif.), Ambassadors John Phillips, William Eacho, Lloyd Hand, and Mike Froman, DeDe Lea, Mitch Rose, and Gail MacKinnon.

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Sergio Gor, communications director for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). How he’s celebrating: “President Bush’s former White House director of presidential correspondence, Nancy Theis, will be hosting a dinner at her home for about 25 friends. Nancy has been a mentor to me since I arrived in Washington to attend the George Washington University for undergrad about a decade ago!” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2Af1EYq

BIRTHDAYS: Larry Summers is 63 … Jason Miner … Crystal Carson … Michael Beschloss is 62 … CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski is 28 … Andy Glass is 82 … WSJ’s Erica Orden … G. Gordon Liddy is 87 … Tom McGean … CNN’s Lauren Pratapas … Reuters’ Jonathan Landay, a McClatchy alum, is 61 … Axios’ Sam Jacobson, a Hillary alum, is 29 … former Bush education secretary Margaret Spellings, now president of UNC, is 6-0 … Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is 62 (hat tip: Taylor Holgate) … Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) is 46 … National Journal staff writer Alex Clearfield is 26 (h/t Hanna Trudo) … Edelman’s Ben Mahler … Conor Hall of Gov. Hickenlooper’s office …

… Jodi Rudoren, editorial director for NYT Global … Emil Steiner is 39 … Jocelyn Quinn … JW Boothe … Toby Graff, a Hillaryland and NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment alum now with her own social impact firm (h/t Elizabeth Gray) … Gary Braman … Travis Waldron, sports reporter for HuffPost … William Daroff, SVP for public policy and director of the Washington office of the Jewish Federations of North America, is 49 … Marshall “Taco” Cohen, “the pride and joy and heart and soul” of the Incite Agency/BPI (h/ts Robin Beck and Kendall Karson) … Alec Ross, an Obama State alum now running for Maryland governor … Martin Kifer … Karen Hanretty … Jeremy Vilmain … Amy Pritchard … Alexia Bohannon (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

****** A message from PhRMA: According to new analysis from the Moran Company, hospitals mark up medicine prices, on average, nearly 500 percent. The analysis of 20 medicines also found a hospital is paid 2.5 times what the biopharmaceutical company, who brought the medicine to market, receives. While hospital markups lead to higher costs for patients, employers and payers, these markups are often overlooked in conversations about medicine costs. As the provider market continues to become more concentrated and the number of medicines being administered in hospital-owned facilities is growing, the amount hospitals mark up medicine prices needs greater scrutiny. http://onphr.ma/2Ba0TOa ******

SUBSCRIBE to the Playbook family: POLITICO Playbook http://politi.co/2lQswbhPlaybook Power Briefing http://politi.co/2xuOiqhNew York Playbook http://politi.co/1ON8bqWFlorida Playbook http://politi.co/1OypFe9New Jersey Playbook http://politi.co/1HLKltFMassachusetts Playbook http://politi.co/1Nhtq5vIllinois Playbook http://politi.co/1N7u5sbCalifornia Playbook http://politi.co/2bLvcPlLondon Playbook http://politi.co/2xfDPuKBrussels Playbook http://politi.co/1FZeLcwAll our political and policy tipsheets http://politi.co/1M75UbX

Source link

Facebook Comments