NEW: SECOND LADY KAREN PENCE has invited Congressional Club members to an afternoon “Christmas Craft” at the VP’s residence on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. Attendees are requested to wear “Holiday Attire.” The invite makes no mention of masks. The event comes as the CDC has discouraged holiday gatherings. Her husband, VP MIKE PENCE, is head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, which has said indoor gatherings should be limited. The VP’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The invite
CORONAVIRUS STRIKES CLOSE TO TRUMP … AGAIN — BLOOMBERG: “Donald Trump Jr. Positive for Coronavirus, Said to Be Doing Well,” by Jennifer Jacobs, Tyler Pager and Mario Parker: “President Donald Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week and is isolating, according to three people familiar with the matter.
“A spokesman for Trump Jr. said in a statement he is asymptomatic for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.”
PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN met with Senate Minority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER and Speaker NANCY PELOSI on Friday in Wilmington, Del. No major news out of the confab. The three leaders discussed the need for a Covid relief package in the lame duck and Biden’s priorities during the first 100 days of his presidency.
— HAPPENING TODAY: BIDEN and VP-elect KAMALA HARRIS will meet with transition advisers.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT … DETROIT NEWS: “Michigan GOP leaders after White House meeting: ‘We will follow the law,’” by Craig Mauger and Melissa Nann Burke: “Michigan’s top two legislative leaders vowed Friday that the presidential candidate with the most votes will win the state’s electoral votes after departing a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.
“With the eyes of the nation on them and criticisms flying from Democrats, seven Michigan lawmakers traveled to meet with Trump for about an hour. The visit came as supporters of the president have moved in recent days to overturn the results of the state’s election, which Democratic President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 154,000 votes in unofficial returns.
“‘We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and, as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election,’ House Speaker Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said in a joint statement after the meeting.”
— SPOTTED: Chatfield having drinks at the Trump hotel after meeting with the president. Pic
WAPO: “Michigan attorney general ponders criminal probes of state and local officials who bend to Trump’s will on overturning election results,” by Carol Leonnig and Tom Hamburger
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION’S GREG BLUESTEIN interviewed Republican Georgia Gov. BRIAN KEMP on why he certified the state’s election results.
THE STEP BACK — NYT’S MARK LEBOVICH: “Trump’s Legal Team Sets a Precedent for Lowering the Bar”
REALITY CHECK: “Trump bid to overturn vote crashes into wall of deadlines,” by Kyle Cheney, Meridith McGraw and Holly Otterbein: “President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the election results is about to smash into reality: a gauntlet of battleground state deadlines that are poised to extinguish his increasingly desperate attempts to hold onto the presidency.
“Michigan is due to certify its state results Monday. Arizona and Pennsylvania counties must also finalize their results the same day. On the heels of Georgia’s certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Friday, the series of administrative deadlines stands to all but formalize Biden’s win by officially affirming the results in enough contested states to put him over the 270-electoral-vote threshold.”
CLASSIC — “Most Republicans greet Trump’s push to overturn the election with a customary response: Silence,” by WaPo’s Paul Kane, Mike DeBonis, Paulina Firozi and Rachael Bade
Good Saturday morning.
WHERE THINGS STAND — “Trump’s Attempts to Overturn the Election Are Unparalleled in U.S. History,” by NYT’s David Sanger: “President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election are unprecedented in American history and an even more audacious use of brute political force to gain the White House than when Congress gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency during Reconstruction.
“Mr. Trump’s chances of succeeding are somewhere between remote and impossible, and a sign of his desperation after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by nearly six million popular votes and counting, as well as a clear Electoral College margin. Yet the fact that Mr. Trump is even trying has set off widespread alarms, not least in Mr. Biden’s camp.” NYT
— “Shutdown deadline nears as White House, Congress tangle over VA funding,” by WaPo’s Seung Min Kim and Jeff Stein: “The Trump administration is injecting new demands into congressional negotiations over a government spending bill that threaten to sink the must-pass package, people familiar with the discussions said.
“The disagreement concerns how to classify $12.5 billion in cost increases in veterans’ health care, expenses that are part of sweeping veterans’ care changes signed into law by President Trump in 2018 with much fanfare.
“The impasse could complicate the ongoing negotiations over legislation to fund the government, which if not resolved would lead the federal government to shutdown on Dec. 11 in the middle of the pandemic — a dangerous scenario lawmakers are working to avoid.”
THE CORONAVIRUS CONTINUES TO RAGE … 11.9 MILLION Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus. … 254,451 Americans have died.
— LAT: “Coronavirus infection rate hits unprecedented levels in California and officials worry how bad it will get,” by Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money and Sean Greene in San Francisco: “California capped a week of unprecedented coronavirus spread, with officials unsure how much worse it will get while placing hope that new restrictions could help slow infections as the holidays approach.
“The staggering rise in cases caught many off guard, with long lines at some testing facilities and worries about whether Thanksgiving will cause even more people to be infected.
“For the seven-day period that ended Friday, an average of 10,981 people in California were reported to be infected daily — a number that has more than doubled in just the last two weeks. That is even worse than the peak in the summer, which until now had been California’s worst spike of COVID-19, according to a Times data analysis.”
— WAPO: “More than 50 private and public schools faced outbreaks in recent weeks,” by Donna St. George
— AP: “Iran closes businesses, curtails travel amid virus surge,” by Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran
THE TRANSITION …
— EMILY MURPHY UPDATE: “As Democrats fume, the Trump appointee who can start the Biden transition is in no hurry,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein, Jonathan O’Connell, Carol Leonnig and Josh Dawsey
— “‘Something very historical’: Push for diverse Biden Cabinet,” by AP’s Ellen Knickmeyer and Matthew Daly: “Native Americans are urging President-elect Joe Biden to make history by selecting one of their own to lead the powerful agency that oversees the nation’s tribes, setting up one of several looming tests of Biden’s pledge to have a Cabinet representative of Americans.
“O.J. Semans is one of dozens of tribal officials and voting activists around the country pushing [the] selection of Rep. Deb Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat and member of the Pueblo of Laguna, to become the first Native American secretary of interior. Tell Semans, a member of the Rosebud Sioux, that a well-regarded white lawmaker is considered a front-runner for the job, and Semans chuckles.”
TRUMP’S SATURDAY — The president will attend the virtual 2020 G-20 Summit this morning in the Situation Room.
MARC CAPUTO: “Culture wars fuel Trump’s blue-collar Latino gains”: “Donald Trump lost the presidency, but showed Republicans a way to win the culture wars with working-class Hispanics. Despite four years of being defined as a racist for his rhetoric and harsh immigration policies, Trump improved his margins in 78 of the nation’s 100 majority-Hispanic counties. And he did better with Latinos in exit polls of each of the top 10 battleground states, a POLITICO review of election data found.
“Joe Biden still won Latino voters overall. But as post-election data trickles in, Democrats are growing concerned. Trump’s notable gains weren’t limited to Miami’s Cuban Americans or border-region Tejanos. Although Florida and Texas stood out for the notable shift, Puerto Ricans as far away as Philadelphia and Mexican Americans in Milwaukee drifted Trump-ward.
“Trump improved his showing among Latinos by scaling back some of his immigration rhetoric and engaging in a sustained bilingual social media and TV ad campaign that courted Latinos based on place of origin, gender and religion. But, in interviews with more than a dozen experts on Hispanic voters in six states, no factor was as salient as Trump’s blue-collar appeal for Latinos.”
TRUMP INC. — “Trump Partner Shelves Office Tower Sales Effort That Hoped to Raise $5 Billion,” by WSJ’s Craig Karmin and Brian Spegele: “The Trump family’s partner in two of its most valuable properties halted an effort to sell the buildings, cutting off what could have been a big cash payout for the Trump Organization, which has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due.
“Vornado Realty Trust, which co-owns with the Trumps an office tower in San Francisco and another in Midtown Manhattan, decided to shelve the sales process when it couldn’t attract a buyer at the prices it wanted, according to one of the selling brokers and other people familiar with the matter. Concerns about conflicts of interest presented by selling the buildings with President Trump still in the White House also hampered the efforts, some of these people said.
“Vornado was hoping to raise up to $5 billion in a sale of the two properties, these people said. At that price, the Trumps’ 30% stake in each of the towers would have been worth $1.5 billion.” WSJ
BEYOND THE BELTWAY — “New York City’s lone Republican in Congress takes aim at AOC,” by Erin Durkin in New York: “Nicole Malliotakis took down a moderate Democrat to become the only Republican in New York City’s congressional delegation — but she’s already got her eyes on another foe: fellow New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“The Staten Island Republican, whose mother emigrated from Cuba, says she’ll seek to be a prominent counter to Ocasio-Cortez’s democratic socialist views. Riding a pro-Trump, pro-police platform to victory, Malliotakis plans to use her new perch to push back against issues like bail reform and the movement to defund the police, which Democrats themselves are struggling to cope with in their own party.
“She’s even teaming up with her own ‘squad’ of freshman Republicans hostile to socialism, hoping to provide a foil to Ocasio-Cortez’s cadre of allies on the left. ‘She obviously is pushing a socialist agenda. I’m someone who takes that very seriously … There’s certainly a stark contrast,’ Malliotakis said in an interview this week, citing her Cuban heritage. ‘And the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn, I believe, voted for me in part because they did want someone who was going to push back on the far left agenda taking over New York City.’”
— “Illinois Democrats threaten Michael Madigan’s decadeslong hold on power,” by Shia Kapos in Chicago: “Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan — the longest-serving state legislative leader in American history — is losing his grip on power as a federal investigation pounds his allies and lackluster election results undermine his influence.”
MEDIAWATCH — “Ezra Klein and Lauren Williams are leaving Vox,” by Axios’ Sara Fischer: “Ezra Klein, co-founder and editor-at-large of Vox.com, the political news website owned by Vox Media, and Lauren Williams, editor-in-chief and senior vice president of Vox.com, are leaving the company, executives tell Axios. …
“Klein is going to the New York Times, where he will have a regular column and podcast. … Williams is launching a new nonprofit startup called ‘Capital B,’ focused on creating a news outlet for civic journalism tailored to Black communities. … The company has begun a search for two new leaders to fill Williams’ role — a new business-focused SVP and a new editor-in-chief.”
— “Tucker Carlson Dared Question a Trump Lawyer. The Backlash Was Quick,” by NYT’s Jeremy Peters
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Margy Slattery and the staff of POLITICO Magazine:
— “Trump Didn’t Win the Latino Vote in Texas. He Won the Tejano Vote,” by Jack Herrera in POLITICO Magazine: “Key to the increase in Republican turnout was the GOP’s willingness to engage the border region as its own political environment, rather than just an extension of the so-called Latino community.” POLITICO Magazine
— “The Underground Movement Trying to Topple the North Korean Regime,” by Suki Kim in The New Yorker: “Adrian Hong says he leads a group of ‘freedom fighters’ conducting a revolution. Has the U.S. already betrayed them?” New Yorker
— “What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?” by NYT’s Jessica Bennett: “Prof. Loretta J. Ross is combating cancel culture with a popular class at Smith College.” NYT
— “The Last Children of Down Syndrome,” by Sarah Zhang on the cover of The Atlantic’s December issue: “Prenatal testing is changing who gets born and who doesn’t. This is just the beginning.” Atlantic
— “Living With Depression and Anxiety During a Global Pandemic,” by Geoff Van Dyke in 5280’s November issue: “With mood disorders on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, people who’ve never experienced mental health issues are enduring some of the emotions I feel almost every day of my life. Maybe that’s why I can finally tell my story.” 5280
— “How Generation Covid Is Losing Out,” by FT’s Federica Cocco: “A global FT survey shows resentment is brewing among the under-30s as unemployment and restrictions bite.” FT
— “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky,” by Reuters’ Polina Ivanova: “When the pandemic potentially came within a thin sheet of glass to astronauts about to lift off into space, Star City, the secretive home of Russia’s space program, became a place of suspicion, fear and blame. One doctor, the leader of the town’s ambulance service, found herself in a desperate situation.” Reuters
— “Once the Disease of Gluttonous Aristocrats, Gout Is Now Tormenting the Masses,” by Ligaya Mishan in T Magazine: “It can be tempting to ascribe the affliction’s prevalence to our current climate of indulgence, but that’s not the full story.” NYT
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at [email protected].
WEDDINGS — Audrey Pence and Daniel Tomanelli, via NYT: “Ms. Pence, an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, and Mr. Tomanelli, a policy adviser in the office of the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon, first met in July 2015 during a studies abroad program in the Balkans run through Northeastern University. …
“They had originally planned to marry in May in Kauai, Hawaii with up to 80 guests … They were married instead on Nov. 1 in a self-uniting style ceremony on a patch of sidewalk near the flagpole outside the Moultrie Courthouse in Washington. Twelve guests were present, including the bride’s father, Vice President Mike Pence, and her mother, the second lady, Karen Pence, and the groom’s mother, Eve Tomanelli.”
— Christopher McGuire and Victoria Kabak, via NYT: “McGuire, 31, [is] a foreign affairs officer at the State Department. … Kabak, 33, [is] a senior research analyst in Washington for the Department of Health and Human Services … Ms. Kabak and Mr. McGuire married Nov. 14 in [a] self-uniting wedding ceremony at the home of a family friend in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood before 17 family members and friends.”
— Kristen Larson and Allan Breed, via NYT: “Ms. Larson, 32, a policy adviser for multilateral affairs at the Department of State (and a daughter of the author Erik Larson), and Mr. Breed, 36, a director in commercial banking operations in McLean, Va. for Capital One, self-united Nov. 11 in Washington. They had celebrated their marriage several days before, on Nov. 7, at a ceremony led by Elizabeth Fustos, a friend of a couple, at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va.”
BIRTHDAYS: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is 76 … Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is 69 (h/t Jess Andrews) … Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) is 56 … Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) is 59 … Bret Stephens is 47 … Tina Brown, founder and CEO of Tina Brown Live Media/Women in the World … Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, is 5-0 … OMB’s James Braid (h/t Melissa Brown) … Allison Varricchio of the State Department … ABC’s Rick Klein is 44 … Valerie Berlin of BerlinRosen … Bloomberg’s Max Abelson is 36 … Mallory Shelbourne … POLITICO Europe’s Kalina Oroschakoff … Matt Kehres … John Burke, executive director of the Georgia Action Fund … Colby Moore … Anthony Randazzo, executive director of Equable Institute … Jon Adams … Joanna Liberman Turner … Elizabeth Farrar, deputy COS for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) … Phil Kaminski … NYU’s Mitchell Moss … former Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) is 5-0 …
… Christopher “Gindy” Gindlesperger, SVP of public affairs and comms at the National Confectioners Association … Catherine Edmonson, associate at Teneo … Daniel Cadel … Matthew Agvent, digital director for Sen. David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) reelect, is 27 … POLITICO’s Judah Taylor, Maria Carrasco and Samantha Maldonado … Edelman’s Alexis Weiss (h/t Ben Chang) … Capri Cafaro, executive in residence at AU’s School of Public Affairs … Gurwin Singh Ahuja … T.J. Tatum, VP at Sard Verbinnen … Gabriel Panek … Chelsea Hawker … Jasmine Mora … Lauren Cowin … Lloyd Miller … Dave Boomer is 64 … Carl S. Ey is 54 … Jack Vaughn … Michael Donohue … Peter Dodge … Sarah Courtney … Shawna Shepherd, producer for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” … Matt Martinelli is 38 … David Culver … Evan Allen … Kyle Nevins … Betsy Dudley … Brian Spahn … John Stocks … Dianne Liepa … Rebecca Lynch (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
THE SHOWS (Full Sunday show listings here):
“This Week”: Ron Klain … Moncef Slaoui. Panel: Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Karen Finney and Sarah Isgur.
“State of the Union”: Moncef Slaoui … Jen Psaki … John Bolton … Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Meet the Press”: Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) … Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) … Moncef Slaoui. Panel: Eddie Glaude Jr., Hallie Jackson, Anna Palmer and John Podhoretz.
“Face the Nation”: Anthony Fauci … H.R. McMaster … Symone Sanders … Larry Merlo … Scott Gottlieb.
“Fox News Sunday”: Tom Inglesby … Kate Bedingfield. Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Jane Harman and Jonathan Swan. Power Player: Wilton Gregory (rerun).
“Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren”: Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) … Moncef Slaoui.
“America This Week with Eric Bolling”: Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) … Peter Navarro … Steve Bannon … Jim Carroll, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy … Sharyl Attkisson.
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.