Playbook Power Briefing: SPICER back at the podium for an off-camera briefing


SPICER RETURNS — Sean is briefing at 2 p.m. today. Alas, it’s off camera. The last time the White House held an on-camera briefing was June 29.

Good Monday afternoon. FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — SPEAKER PAUL RYAN will be in Nantucket Thursday evening to raise money for Team Ryan, his joint fundraising effort. Tickets start at $2,500 and $10,000 gets you a photo. KEN KIES and his wife Kathy are hosting the event.

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— SPOTTED: Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) at the Nantucket airport Monday morning.

SIREN — MAR-A-LAGO VISITOR LOGS TO BE RELEASED — CREW, the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute announced that the Department of Homeland Security will turn over visitor logs from Mar-a-Lago by Sept 8. CREW pledged to publicly release the logs once they receive them.

BUT, BUT, BUT … POLITICO’S FOIA AND TRANSPARENCY GURU JOSH GERSTEIN writes: “It’s still going to be an uphill battle for watchdogs to get their hands on records detailing Trump’s visitors. When the Sept. 8 deadline comes up, the Secret Service can produce a bunch of blacked-out pages, withholding the nitty-gritty on privacy or national security or law enforcement security grounds or executive privilege grounds.

“They could also resort to the claim that the records aren’t really the Secret Service’s, but the White House’s. Both the George W. Bush and Obama administration’s took that stance and won in the D.C. Circuit. That’s part of why the suit was filed in New York. Most importantly, people seem to have come and gone from Mar-a-Lago since November for all kinds of events without any advance registration with the Secret Service, so it seems doubtful the Service has any comprehensive list. In short, don’t hold your breath.”

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE — @realDonaldTrump at 10:07 a.m.: “Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That’s politics!”

INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE – “Trump’s trade warrior prowls the West Wing,” by Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia: “Peter Navarro, one of the White House’s top trade advisers, is widely viewed throughout the West Wing and Capitol Hill as a prickly personality with extreme policy ideas. But he has nonetheless emerged as an influential force in the White House who appeals to President Donald Trump’s protectionist impulses. Navarro has earned a reputation for stalking the halls of the West Wing at night and on the weekends to find a moment to slip into the Oval Office to privately discuss trade with the president, according to one White House official and a close adviser to the administration. It’s his way of maintaining influence through proximity. …

BEYOND THE BELTWAY — READ EVERY WORD — L.A. TIMES: “An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean,” by Paul Pringle, Harriet Ryan, Adam Elmahrek, Matt Hamilton and Sarah Parvini: “In USC’s lecture halls, labs and executive offices, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a towering figure. The dean of the Keck School of Medicine was a renowned eye surgeon whose skill in the operating room was matched by a gift for attracting money and talent to the university. There was another side to the Harvard-educated physician.

EXIT INTERVIEW — “Outgoing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’,” by NYT’s Eric Lipton and Nicholas Fandos: “Actions by President Trump and his administration have created a historic ethics crisis, the departing head of the Office of Government Ethics said. He called for major changes in federal law to expand the power and reach of the oversight office and combat the threat. Walter M. Shaub Jr., who is resigning as the federal government’s top ethics watchdog on Tuesday, said the Trump administration had flouted or directly challenged long-accepted norms in a way that threatened to undermine the United States’ ethical standards, which have been admired around the world.

AFTERNOON READS — JOSH GREEN, author of “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency” (out tomorrow), in Vanity Fair, “Inside the Secret, Strange Origins of Steve Bannon’s Nationalist Fantasia: The chief strategist of Trump’s triumph reveals his strange brew of intellectual influences, including a French-Egyptian Muslim occultist guru, and his apocalyptic view of history”: “Though hardly a moralizing social conservative, he objected bitterly to the secular liberalism encroaching upon the culture. ‘We shouldn’t be running a victory lap every time some sort of traditional value gets undercut,’ he once told me. When he was a naval officer in the late 1970s, Bannon, a voracious autodidact, embarked upon what he described as ‘a systematic study of the world’s religions’ that he carried on for more than a decade. Taking up the Roman Catholic history first instilled in him at his Catholic military high school, he moved on to Christian mysticism and from there to Eastern metaphysics. (In the Navy, he briefly practiced Zen Buddhism before wending his way back to Catholicism.)

“Bannon’s reading eventually led him to the work of René Guénon, an early-20th-­century French occultist and metaphysician who was raised a Roman Catholic, practiced Freemasonry, and later became a Sufi Muslim who observed the Sharia. … Guénon was a “primordial” Traditionalist, who believed that certain ancient religions, including the Hindu Vedanta, Sufism, and medieval Catholicism, were repositories of common spiritual truths, revealed to mankind in the earliest age of the world, that were being wiped out by the rise of secular modernity in the West. What Guénon hoped for, he wrote in 1924, was to ‘restore to the West an appropriate traditional civilization.'”$24.30 on Amazon

— BEN WOFFORD in Washingtonian, “Inside the Radical, Self-Destructive, and Probably Impossible Plan to Move the Government Out of Washington”: “It would work like this: The Swamp Act [sponsored by Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.)] calls for federal agencies to relocate their headquarters, thereby vacating 90 percent of their employees from Washington. In 2018, agency directors would identify a new home base, with special attention to cost savings and national security. In 2023, the exodus would begin. Davidson thinks the IT revolution means there’s little reason to keep government in one place. Instead, federal power should reside closer to the people-in Cleveland, say, or Oklahoma City-emancipated at last from the Potomac Gomorrah. …

COMING ATTRACTIONS — The Washington Kastles Charity Classic, a charity tennis tournament, is on July 27 at 7 p.m. at the Smith Center on GW’s campus. Participants include Peter Alexander, Bret Baier, David Gregory, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Reps. Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and more. Tickets

SPOTTED: Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo) and Norm Brownstein of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck all waiting to board the same flight to DCA at DEN.

WEEKEND WEDDINGS — “Son of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Andrew, marries Lithuanian-born real estate executive in one of Manhattan’s oldest Roman Catholic churches” — The Daily Mail: “Andrew met Zivile [Rezgyte] in 2014 at Derek Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium and he proposed last August. … Zivile emigrated from Lithuania 10 years ago and at the time couldn’t even speak English. Now she is an American citizen and a successful executive at First American Title. Andrew is currently a public liaison assistant to President Donald Trump.” 12 pix on one page

–Mackenzie Jortner, co-founder of fundraising firm the Morning Group and an RNC alum, on Saturday married Ollie Dolan of the Dept. of Education, in Sewanee, Tennessee. Pool report: “The RNC Finance team that brought the [organization] out of debt in 2011 shut down ‘Shenanigans’ … with the couple at the University of the South. The couple met on the dance floor of ‘Dodge City’ on U St.” Pic of the couple at the only bar in town, Shenanigans

SPOTTED: Angela Meyers, Emma Nelson, Dana Klein, Lauren Bryan, Lauren Kirshner, Annie Baker Hoar, Dougie Simmons and James Christoferson, John Umberger, Mimi Hayes, Alison McIntosh, and Cate and Stephen Duerst.

TRANSITIONS — Ryan Duffy was hired as U.S. Sugar’s new director of corporate communications. He was previously VP at Tallahassee firm Hill+Knowlton Strategies. … David Levine was named the first COO of BerlinRosen. He is an Obama administration and Hillary for America alum. … Todd H. Halpern has rejoined Venable as a partner in its FDA practice.

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