Trump Sees ‘Good Chance’ for Middle East Peace

President Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he wants to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and that he still believes doing so is possible, Haaretz reports.

Said Trump: “We are going to discuss peace between Israel and the Palestinians; it will be a fantastic achievement. We are giving it absolute go – there is a good chance it could happen. Most people would say there is no chance whatsoever, but I think that with the ability of Bibi and the other side – I really think we have a chance.”

He added: “Historically people say it can’t happen but I say it can happen.”

Democrats Demand Full CBO Analysis of GOP Bill

“Democratic congressional leaders are demanding a full budget analysis of the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, a move that threatens to stall the legislation ahead of a critical Sept. 30 deadline,” Politico reports.

“Democratic leaders say they fear Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), given the truncated timeline to consider the bill, is requesting only the bare-minimum analysis from budget scorekeepers required by reconciliation rules.”

Trump Still Intends to Exit Paris Climate Deal

“President Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, emphasized to foreign climate and energy officials on Monday that the U.S. still intends to withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Bloomberg reports.

“Speculation that Trump would reverse course and remain in the Paris deal was heightened after the European Union’s climate chief, Miguel Arias Canete, said Saturday in an interview that the U.S. had signaled it wants to seek new terms from within the agreement, rather than withdraw outright and then re-negotiate. But White House officials have forcefully pushed back against the idea.”

Quote of the Day

“I’m a cop through and through. You can never take that out of somebody. When somebody says that — you know, those those recordings came out regarding sexual assaults. If the statute of limitations was still in existence, and he made those comments in King County, and you know it happened in King County, that’s a person that I would have to arrest.”

— Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), quoted by Vice News, on Donald Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” comments revealed in a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape last October.

New York Women Want the ‘Ivanka Look’

“A New York plastic surgeon says that since the 2016 Republican primaries, he has seen a deluge of patients who want to look like Ivanka Trump,” the New York Post reports.

“Dr. Norman Rowe says that since last summer, up to 50 clients have asked him to give them the Ivanka look — which he describes as widened cheekbones, a slender nose and large eyes.”

How Party Bosses Pick the Politicians In New York

New York Times: “For decades, New York seats have traded hands this way in what amounts to one of the last, most powerful vestiges of Tammany Hall-style politics in the state. Election laws here grant politicians and local political power brokers vast sway in picking candidates when legislators leave office in the middle of their term — whether they retire early, pass away, depart for another job or are carted away in handcuffs.”

“The rules are a crucial part of what empowers party bosses in a state that regularly outpaces the nation in corruption. They encourage ambitious politicians, even the most independent ones, to pledge fealty to county political leaders, lest they get passed over if and when the time comes for possible advancement.”

Obama Heads to Wall Street

Bloomberg: “Last month, just before her book What Happened was published, Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp. for about $400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.”

“Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that’s well trod and well paid. While he can’t run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he’ll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton. Or, as some of his executive friends see it, he’s just a private citizen giving a few paid speeches to other successful people while writing his next book.”

Trump Backers Blame Republicans First

Washington Post: “These churchgoers are at the heart of the dilemma nagging Republican leaders as they struggle to forge a path between the Grand Old Party and the Party of Trump. These voters don’t consider themselves Republicans. They are first and foremost supporters of the president.”

“They are quick to explain away the compromises the former real-estate developer and reality TV star has made and the inconsistencies in many of his positions. They describe Washington as a swamp and speak of Democratic and Republican congressional leaders with the same levels of frustration and disappointment — while describing Trump as if he were a longtime neighbor. They have high hopes for his presidency, but they also fear he might be held back by his party. And they don’t expect their devotion to the president to waver, even a tiny bit, any time soon.”

Trump Lawyers Overheard at Restaurant

New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel was sitting next to two of President Trump’s lawyers at a Washington, D.C. restaurant as they “casually and loudly” discussed details of Russia investigation.

From the report:

Mr. Cobb was heard talking about a White House lawyer he deemed “a McGahn spy” and saying Mr. McGahn had “a couple documents locked in a safe” that he seemed to suggest he wanted access to. He also mentioned a colleague whom he blamed for “some of these earlier leaks,” and who he said “tried to push Jared out,” meaning Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who has been a previous source of dispute for the legal team…

After The Times contacted the White House about the situation, Mr. McGahn privately erupted at Mr. Cobb, according to people informed about the confrontation who asked not to be named describing internal matters. John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, sharply reprimanded Mr. Cobb for his indiscretion, the people said.

Washington Post: “Trump and his aides have complained bitterly and often about leaks, including leaks from the White House. But who needs leaks when lunch reservations will suffice?”

Trump Allies Already Gunning for 2020 Rivals

Politico: “Allies of Donald Trump have begun plotting to take down or weaken potential Democratic challengers in 2020, including several who will be on the ballot in next year’s midterms. The 2018-focused work ranges from a major donor-funded super PAC designed to blemish Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s image, to a full-scale effort to defeat Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown outright before he gets the chance to take on Trump. Beyond that, after months of monitoring dozens of potential challengers, Trump allies are building research files and crafting lines of attack on Democrats seen as most threatening to Trump and who will be on the ballot next November.”

“The patchwork push is less organized than past efforts orchestrated by presidential reelection campaigns. But it’s beginning to resemble Republicans’ successful attempt to drag down Hillary Clinton before she announced her 2016 run.”

Both Parties Move Against Facebook

Mike Allen: “Members of Congress in both parties have begun exploring possible legislative action against Facebook and other tech giants, setting the stage for a potentially massive battle in the midterm election year of 2018.”

“Following revelations about fake news and paid Russian propaganda on Facebook during last year’s election, big tech has become a big target, with politicians across the spectrum declaring on Sunday shows that more scrutiny, transparency and restrictions are needed.”

“The shift against the companies has been sudden, and is one of the biggest stories of the year.”

McConnell’s Mortal Enemy Might Soon Be in His Caucus

Politico: “Three words are striking fear in Senate Republicans these days: ‘Senator Roy Moore.’ The bomb-throwing former Alabama Supreme Court justice has vaulted to a hefty lead in Alabama’s Senate special election, lambasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell every step of the way. A Moore victory promises to make McConnell’s tenuous 52-seat majority even more precarious, allies of the majority leader warn, potentially imperiling tax reform, raising the risk of default on the nation’s debt or even derailing routine Senate business.”

New Repeal Effort Still Doesn’t Have the 50th Vote

“There’s a lot of skepticism in Washington over whether the latest Affordable Care Act repeal bill, proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, can pass. One of the many reasons is that a lot of Republican senators’ states — particularly those that expanded Medicaid — would lose a lot of money,” according to Axios.

“Alaska is among the losers here, and it’s hard to see Sen. Lisa Murkowski getting on board with this bill or this process. Same goes for Sen. Susan Collins. Sen. Rand Paul has said he’s a no. Sen. John McCain was a “no” last time, largely on process grounds. The process hasn’t changed. And this bill would hurt his state.”

David Nather: “This has been building up for a while. Definitely worth keeping an eye on it, but still hard to see where they get the 50th vote. It’s not impossible that they get McCain. For everything he’s said about ‘regular order,’ he’s still friends with Lindsey Graham. But Rand Paul has been tweeting nasty stuff — it’s Obamacare Lite, etc. So unless you flip Collins or Murkowski, hard to see it happening.”