BREAKING … SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO has arrived in Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. Photo, courtesy State Department
— FASCINATING NUGGET, from NYT’s Gardiner Harris, David Kirkpatrick and Eileen Sullivan: “The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, left Washington last week, returned to Riyadh and will not be returning, a current and a former American official said on Monday. It was not clear when he might be replaced, or by whom. Prince Khalid is the crown prince’s younger brother.” NYT … Prince Khalid bin Salman has been ambassador to the U.S. since 2017.
EXCLUSIVE … PELOSI DETAILS HER PLANS FOR THE MAJORITY … HOUSE MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.) was on the campaign trail in Philadelphia over the weekend — stumping for Mary Gay Scanlon and Madeleine Dean — and sat down with Anna for a wide-ranging interview about her plans for a Democratic majority.
— THE FIRST BILLS: They would start with a campaign finance reform bill, and then Pelosi said Democrats would move to lower drug prices, enact a background-check system for gun purchases and create a bill that protects Dreamers.
— PELOSI WANTS TO RUN A TIGHT OVERSIGHT SHIP: “It’s very important we are not scattershot. I’m not having any pound-of-flesh club. … What is important is for us not to be them. We are not going to be them. On the other hand, the American people deserve the truth and we have to have oversight over the agencies, the oversight of seeking the truth about the most fundamental action a person takes is voting.” (Note here: Pelosi seems very aware that oversight can go sideways, like it did at times for Republicans in the Obama era.)
— ZERO DEMOCRATS EXPECTED TO VOTE FOR TRUMP’S WALL IN DECEMBER: “I don’t see any of us voting for wall funding. … We have a responsibility to secure our borders. There are ways to do that that are consistent with civilization, humanitarianism and who we are as a nation. We have to remove all doubt about that.”
— PELOSI EXPECTS AN OCTOBER SURPRISE: “An intentional surprise which we should expect and you always expect it. That’s why you build redundancy in your campaign. … We just have to own the ground and get out the vote and understand that it doesn’t matter what happens, we have to do that.”
— WILL DEMS KNOW IF THEY’VE CAPTURED THE MAJORITY ON ELECTION NIGHT? DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) “says we should be prepared for not knowing, but I’m just hoping that we will. That the 23 for sure, and then is it a wave after that, a tsunami after that or just little drops — and the races are this close 500 votes either way, 600 votes either way — 25,000 votes could determine the gavel.”
— PELOSI expects all committee ranking members to become chairs. “I don’t see any change in that.”
— WILL PELOSI, STENY HOYER (D-MD.) AND JIM CLYBURN (D-S.C.) REMAIN ATOP THE PARTY? … “I don’t know. I have no idea and it’s the least important thing. … I haven’t asked one person for me in the House or outside of the House [for a vote]. … I don’t ask but they do tell.”
— Read more on Pelosi’s trip to Philadelphia and her quest to elect more women to office: POLITICO
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — PELOSI’S CASH HAUL … PELOSI raised $34.2 million for Democrats in the third quarter, including $30.5 million directly for the DCCC. She held 250 fundraising events in 29 cities. That brings her total fundraising haul for the 2018 cycle to $121.7 million for Democrats.
Good Tuesday morning. 21 DAYS until Election Day. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will travel to Houston next week to campaign in the 10,000-seat NRG Arena for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Trump said he was going to choose the largest stadium in the state for the rally, but he did not.
CRUZ and REP. BETO O’ROURKE (D-TEXAS) will debate tonight in San Antonio. Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek on the debate
MIDTERM NUGGETS …
— ONLY IN PLAYBOOK … VP MIKE PENCE held a fundraiser at the Trump Hotel Monday night that raised around $750,000 for the NRCC. Pence is raising cash for Reps. Dave Young of Iowa and Dave Brat of Virginia, and candidates Denver Riggleman of Virginia and Steve Watkins of Kansas. KELLYANNE CONWAY was at the Trump Hotel raising money for the RNC at the same time — an event that a source told us brought in six figures.
— AMERICA FIRST ACTION — a Trump-aligned super PAC — is spending nearly $1 million in an attempt to pick up Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, a seat in the state’s Iron Range. This is the second ad it’s run here, and it’s running from today through Oct. 22. The ad … NYT Upshot: “Did Minnesota’s Eighth District Really Swing by Almost 20 Points?”
— END CITIZENS UNITED is putting $2.5 million into five House races, attempting to boost Democrats Colin Allred in Texas, Andy Kim in New Jersey, Katie Porter in California, Max Rose in New York and Abigail Spanberger in Virginia. The biggest expenditure is in Virginia for Spanberger, who is trying to oust Brat. The Virginia ad … The New Jersey ad, hitting Rep. Tom MacArthur
— LORRAINE WOELLERT and MAGGIE SEVERNS: “Adelsons funneled $32 million into GOP coffers in September”
— NEW YORK GOP REP. CHRIS COLLINS, under indictment, is up by 3 points in his R+11 district, according to a new Siena poll.
NYT’S KEN VOGEL: “Trump Campaign Doubles Spending Rate as the 2020 Race Draws Nearer”: “President Trump’s campaign more than doubled its spending over the past three months as the president worked to rev up the Republican base ahead of next month’s midterm elections through a series of rallies and online appeals.
“The increased spending — much of which was done through an opaque new corporate entity set up by the campaign — was reflected in filings that the campaign’s committees were set to submit on Monday evening to the Federal Election Commission.
“The filings showed that the campaign spent a total of $7.7 million from the beginning of July and to end of September — more than twice the $3.6 million spent in the preceding three months — according to a preview of the filings provided to The New York Times.” NYT
— WAPO’S MICHELLE YE HEE LEE and ANU NARAYANSWAMY: “Trump tops $100 million in fundraising for his own reelection”: “President Trump has topped $100 million in fundraising for his 2020 reelection bid — an enormous haul for a president barely two years into his first term, according to new Federal Election Commission filings. … No other president dating back to at least Ronald Reagan had raised any money at this point for his own campaign committee, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan research group. Unlike his predecessors, Trump began fundraising for his reelection shortly after his 2016 win.” WaPo
THINGS ARE GETTING UGLY IN ARIZONA — “McSally attacks Sinema for ‘treason’ in contentious Arizona Senate debate,” by James Arkin: “Republican Martha McSally accused Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of ‘treason’ Monday night, latching onto recent reports about Sinema’s comments as an anti-war activist at the end of a contentious, fiery Arizona Senate debate.
“Near the end of the hour-long debate, McSally attacked Sinema over the comments from a radio show in 2003, reported earlier this week by CNN. The host made a hypothetical comment about joining the Taliban, to which Sinema responded: ‘I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.’
“McSally demanded an apology, accusing her fellow congresswoman of saying ‘it’s okay to commit treason.’ Sinema didn’t respond to the attack or explain her past comments, instead accusing McSally of running a negative campaign by using ‘ridiculous attacks, and trying to smear my campaign.’” POLITICO
NANCY COOK and CHRIS CADELAGO in Lynn Haven, Fla: “Trump plays consoler in chief in key swing state”: “President Donald Trump may have found a new pastime he enjoys even more than campaign-style rallies: playing consoler in chief following major storms.
“On Monday, an upbeat Trump toured a Florida neighborhood wrecked by Hurricane Michael, with downed trees, damaged roofs and a deserted school. In the sweltering sun, dressed in khakis and a black windbreaker, he greeted neighbors, passed out water bottles and posed for selfies at an aide distribution center with a very friendly crowd including one onlooker who vowed to vote for Republicans in the midterm elections.
“The optics of late have been different than the images to emerged from past tours of disaster areas, where cable news channels and late night hosts picked up on scenes that made the president look out of touch or unrelatable — the president tossing paper towels to Hurricane Maria victims, or handing a bucket to a pickup truck driver instead of placing it in the back.
“The administration has sought to avoid such coverage by demonstrating — via frequent news conferences, though surrogates and on social media — that the president and top officials are on top of things, one official said. Trump has come to more fully understand the significance to the people in the midst of a crisis, as well as how the fallout is viewed by TV audiences who may judge the totality of the response by a brief snippet of exposure, according aides.” POLITICO
THE KHASHOGGI AFFAIR …
— CNN’S CLARISSA WARD and TIM LISTER: “Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say”: “The Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey, according to two sources. One source says the report will likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and transparency and that those involved will be held responsible. One of the sources acknowledged that the report is still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.” CNN
— NBC’S DYLAN BYERS: “Saudi ties entangle Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective”: “[O]ne of her closest aides at Emerson, Michael Klein, is a highly influential power broker for the Saudi kingdom and its U.S. investments. Klein, a Wall Street rainmaker and former Citigroup executive, is a managing partner at Emerson and helps manage the company’s business, which includes investments in a variety of media properties such as Axios and OZY Media in addition to its majority stake in The Atlantic.
“Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, declined to comment. Klein, who runs his own boutique investing firm, M. Klein & Company, is also a top adviser to the Saudi kingdom’s Public Investment Fund and a key conduit between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. business community, according to multiple people who know him and are familiar with his business.” NBC
— “Washington Think Tanks Still Divided On Whether To Return Saudi Donations Over Journalist’s Disappearance,” by BuzzFeed’s Emily Tamkin: “The Center for Strategic and International Studies, one of Washington’s most prominent think tanks on international affairs, still has not decided whether to return funding from Saudi Arabia in the wake of the disappearance and likely murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But another influential research center, the Middle East Institute, said it would stop taking Saudi donations ‘pending the outcome of the investigation’ into Khashoggi’s disappearance. … The Brookings Institution, on the other hand, which found itself in hot water over taking Qatari money in 2014, terminated its sole research grant with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Friday, a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.” BuzzFeed
— CNN’S HADAS GOLD: “New York Times shuts down $11,995 Saudi Arabia tours”: “The New York Times is shutting down three planned guided tours to Saudi Arabia as a result of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. … The journey to Saudi Arabia was advertised as ‘Saudi Arabia and the Emirates: The Past and Future of Oil.’ The 10-day tours included lodging in five-star hotels and started at a cost of $11,995 per individual. The spokesperson said refunds will be issued to those who signed up for the tours.” CNN
— DANIEL LIPPMAN, THEO MEYER and MARIANNE LEVINE: “Glover Park Group and BGR Group drop Saudi Arabia”: “Glover Park Group ‘determined that they were no longer able to continue their representation of the government,’ according to [a] person familiar with the matter. The firm declined to comment. A spokesperson for BGR Group told POLITICO the firm ‘is no longer working for Saudi Arabia.” POLITICO
— “Endeavor Pulling Out of $400 Million Saudi Arabia Deal,” by The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters and Tatiana Siegel
AP’S ROBERT BURNS in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: “Amid speculation that he may soon be replaced, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said President Donald Trump told him he supports the retired Marine general ‘100 percent.’
“The assertion comes just days after Trump mused on national television about Mattis leaving his post. Mattis said Trump gave him this assurance during a phone call while Mattis was flying from Washington to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Tuesday. A few hours earlier, Mattis told reporters traveling with him that he and Trump had never discussed the possibility of Mattis leaving the Pentagon job. …
“Later, Mattis approached reporters traveling with him to say he’d just spoken to Trump. He said he called the president aboard Air Force One to discuss damage to military bases caused by Hurricane Michael. During that conversation, Trump asked Mattis whether he had seen the “60 Minutes” interview broadcast on Sunday. Mattis said he had not. Trump then expressed his full support for Mattis and suggested Mattis let the press know this.” AP
REMEMBERING PAUL ALLEN — Seattle Times’ Rachel Lerman: “Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and a prominent leader of both business and philanthropy in the Seattle area, has died at age 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Allen died Monday afternoon, according to his multifaceted holding company Vulcan Inc., just two weeks after announcing he had restarted treatment for the cancer that he was first treated for in 2009. Allen co-founded Redmond tech giant Microsoft with childhood friend Bill Gates in 1975.
“After leaving the company, he turned his focus to a wide range of other business and scientific pursuits, which including founding the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the real estate arm of Vulcan, which went on to build much of Amazon’s campus. In a statement Monday, Gates said he was ‘heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends.’ He added that personal computing would not have existed without Allen.” Seattle Times
TRUMP’S TUESDAY — The president has no public events scheduled.
TAKE THE PLAYBOOK ELECTION CHALLENGE — There are 21 days until the election — now is the time to make your picks for who will win the most hotly contested House, Senate and gubernatorial races across the country. The challenge
JOIN US! ANNA and JAKE are heading out to Philadelphia for our last Playbook Elections event Oct. 29 at the Ritz Carlton. We’ll be talking with REPS. BRENDAN BOYLE (D-PA.) and RYAN COSTELLO (R-PA.) about what’s happening on the ground in Pennsylvania and across the country in the lead-up to the election. Doors open at 8 a.m. RSVP
“BASTA” … WAPO’S ELISE VIEBECK: “Judge throws out Stormy Daniels’s defamation lawsuit against Trump”
WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE — @sarahcwestwood: “NEW: John Bolton’s chief of staff, Fred Fleitz, is leaving after just a few months. He’s going back to the conservative Center for Security Policy, and his last day at the WH will be Oct. 31, I’m told.”
UPDATE — “Ex-Senate aide pleads guilty to lying to the FBI in leak probe,” by Josh Gerstein: “A former Senate aide who became the focus of a leak investigation entered a guilty plea on Monday to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with reporters. Former Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director James Wolfe, 57, admitted to a single felony count of making a false statement in the course of a federal investigation.
“The guilty plea could ease tensions between President Donald Trump and the Justice Department. For more than a year, Trump has been pressing for a crackdown on leaks, particularly those related to the investigations that have most angered the president — criminal and congressional probes into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.” POLITICO
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — “Rick Perry’s coal rescue runs aground at White House,” by Eric Wolff and Darius Dixon: “One of the Trump administration’s major efforts to prop up ailing coal companies has run aground in the White House, a setback to an industry that had hoped for a major resurgence after Donald Trump won the presidency.
“Energy Secretary Rick Perry has spent more than a year pushing various plans that would invoke national security to force power companies to keep their economically struggling coal plants running — a goal in line with Trump’s frequent pledges to revive what he calls ‘beautiful, clean coal.’
“But the White House has shelved the plan amid opposition from the president’s own advisers on the National Security Council and National Economic Council, according to four people knowledgeable about the discussions.” POLITICO
— BEN LEFEBVRE: “Zinke’s energy export plan knocked as ‘harebrained’”
IN THE GOLDEN STATE — “Republicans take gas tax repeal message to the pump in California,” by Jeremy B. White in Oakland: “The GOP plan to juice midterm turnout by rallying Californians against their state gas tax is languishing, so Republicans are taking their message to a place where they’ll have a captive audience: the gas pump itself.
“Californians who stop at gas stations in six competitive House districts will be greeted by 30-second spots on the television monitors above gas pumps. The [RNC]-funded ads seek to tie Democratic House candidates to a 12-cents-a-gallon tax increase signed into law last year. …
“The RNC gambit seeks to jolt a campaign that has sputtered despite long figuring into the GOP’s plans in battleground California, home to a half-dozen fiercely contested congressional races.” POLITICO
OOPS — “Donald Daters, a dating app for Trump supporters, leaked its users’ data,” by TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker: “A new dating app for Trump supporters that wants to ‘make America date again’ has leaked its entire database of users — on the day of its launch. The app, called ‘Donald Daters,’ is aimed at ‘American-based singles community connecting lovers, friends, and Trump supporters alike’ and has already received rave reviews and coverage in Fox News, Daily Mail and The Hill.
“On its launch day alone, the app had a little over 1,600 users and counting. We know because a security researcher found issues with the app that made it possible to download the entire user database. Elliot Alderson, a French security researcher, shared the database with TechCrunch, which included users’ names, profile pictures, device type, their private messages — and access tokens, which can be used to take over accounts.” TechCrunch
SPOTTED last night at the bar at the Ritz-Carlton in West End: Magic Johnson. John Gizzi was also seen separately at the bar.
SPOTTED at the 2018 Shakespeare Theatre Company Gala at the Harman Center for the Arts with dinner at the National Building Museum: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Chris and Renee Liddell, Chief Justice John Roberts and Jane Roberts, British Ambassador Kim Darroch and Lady Vanessa Darroch, Renee Fleming, Phylicia Rashad, David Rubenstein, Jacqueline Mars, Nick Allard, Emily Lenzner, Kevin Chaffee, Jonathan Silver and Melissa Moss and Danish Ambassador Lars Gert Lose.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Rodell Mollineau, partner at Rokk Solutions. Fun facts about Rodell: “It could be another 20 birthdays before you cycle back to me so I will give you two. 1. The Nature Boy Ric Flair is my life coach in all things except marriage and alcohol consumption. 2. While hip-hop is my preferred music choice, I’ve also been to over 40 Phish shows.” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Ben Coffey Clark, partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive (hat tip: Tim Burger) … Sarah Westwood, White House reporter for CNN (h/ts Melissa Brown and Gabby Orr) … Bob Weir is 71 … Jim Courtovich … John Goodwin, head of comms at the Weather Channel, is 4-0 (h/t Taylor Gross) … former North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple is 7-0 … Amy Walter … Jenny Hopkinson … Beatrice Petersen … Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) is 44 … Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) is 58 … Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.) is 58 … WaPo’s Alexandra Lemley … Dan Hirschhorn, managing editor for news at Barrons, is 35 … Steve Friess is 46 … Deloitte’s Chris Faile is 41 … Tiph Turpin … Linda Miller (h/ts Jon Haber) … WaPo tablet editor Andrew Heining … Frank Green … Ryan Walters … Michael Pratt, AEI’s director of media relations and marketing … Tim Flynn …
… FT’s Brendan Greeley is 44 … Tyler Evans, digital communications coordinator at Our Revolution … Christopher Cox, former SEC chairman, is 66 … USAID’s Daniel Henke … Lindi Harvey … Dan Gross, senior adviser for citywide events for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio … Ivette Fernandez, VP of gov’t relations at Endeavor and a Bush alum (h/t Ed Cash) … Bradley Becnel … Garrett Murch (h/ts Jon Conradi and Chris Bedford) … Vanessa Dennis … Deloitte’s Kristen McGrath Dugan … Delacey Skinner … Nate Morris … Avi Fink … Devora Kaye, assistant commissioner for external affairs at NYPD … Bruce Plaxen … Emily Karl … Alexandra Fetissoff … Elizabeth McGreevy … Becca Milfeld … Susan Friebert … Ric Arenstein … Jim Pribyl … Mark Bohannon … Jeff Link … McCloy Dickson (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)