NEW … THE PRESIDENT’S WEEK AHEAD: MONDAY: The president is having lunch with Vice President Mike Pence. He will headline political rallies for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in Tupelo and Biloxi, Mississippi. TUESDAY: Trump will have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. WEDNESDAY: The president will participate in the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. THURSDAY: The president will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He will be there Friday and Saturday as well.
BREAKING … BIG BREXIT NEWS — “EU leaders approve ‘best possible’ Brexit deal,” by POLITICO Europe’s Charles Cooper: “EU leaders approved a Brexit deal agreed with the U.K. government at a special summit Sunday, but warned that there could be no meaningful renegotiation of the agreement, even if the British parliament rejects it. …
“The British and European parliaments must both ratify the deal — a 585-page legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement, and a 26-page Political Declaration setting the outline of the future relationship — before it can come into force. British MPs are expected to vote in the second week of December. U.K. prime minister Theresa May, facing a rebellion from MPs in her own party, is yet to command a parliamentary majority in support of the deal.” POLITICO
— POLITICO EUROPE’S DAVID HERSZENHORN (@herszenhorn): “Juncker: ‘This is the best deal possible. This is the only deal possible.’”
ON THE BORDER … WAPO’S JOSHUA PARTLOW and NICK MIROFF: “Deal with Mexico paves way for asylum overhaul at U.S. border”: “The Trump administration has won the support of Mexico’s incoming government for a plan to remake U.S. border policy by requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through U.S. courts, according to Mexican officials and senior members of President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s transition team. President Trump briefly described the arrangement in a pair of tweets Saturday evening.
“‘Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court,’ Trump wrote. ‘No ‘Releasing’ into the U.S….All will stay in Mexico.’ The president then issued a threat. ‘If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!’ Trump wrote.” WaPo
— BUT, BUT, BUT — NYT’S AZAM AHMED and KIRK SEMPLE in MEXICO CITY: “Mexican officials said no decision has been made, leaders of the incoming government are under immense pressure to deal with thousands of migrants lined up along the border between the two countries. The top officials of the incoming administration plan to meet as early as Sunday to discuss the proposal, according to the new foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, who will take office on Dec. 1. …
“Sunday’s meeting is to include Mr. Ebrard; the incoming interior minister, Olga Sanchez Cordero, and other top officials in the government of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. News of the proposal was first reported by The Washington Post, which quoted Mrs. Sanchez Cordero as saying an agreement between the United States and the incoming Mexican government had been reached. But later Saturday, Mrs. Sanchez Cordero issued a statement saying that there was no decision regarding the use of Mexico as a holding area for asylum applicants to the United States.” NYT
— THE PRESIDENT WEIGHS IN THIS A.M. — @realDonaldTrump at 8:28 a.m.: “Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!”
SUNDAY BEST — DANA BASH talks with SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IOWA) on CNN’S “STATE OF THE UNION”: BASH: “So, do you think he’s just — it’s an idle threat in order to get Mexico to deal and to potentially allow asylum seekers to be in Mexico, as apparently there are private discussions about?”
ERNST: “I certainly think the president sees results any time that he does bring up an issue, and he does lay down certain reasons why he’s doing what he’s doing. And we are seeing results. We have seen Mexico, their government is now — they have said that they will keep those asylum seekers in Mexico until they can be sorted out. So I think that we are seeing results. Let’s try and divert anything before we actually do have to act on the president’s threats.”
— ABOUT A POSSIBLE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: BASH: “The president has also threatened to shut down the government on next Friday’s funding deadline if Congress doesn’t pass money to fund his border wall. Would you support shutting down the government if the president doesn’t get that money for the wall?”
ERNST: “I do not want to see the government shut down. Again, if we can avoid that situation, we absolutely need to do that. And I know that Leader McConnell is working very hard to make sure we get funding in this lame-duck session. So, again, I hope that we can avoid shutting down the government.”
Good Sunday morning. The president is at Trump International Golf Course this morning, according to a pool report. He and first lady Melania Trump will leave Mar-a-Lago and fly back to Washington at 4:20 p.m. They are scheduled to return to the White House by 6:50 p.m.
WHAT ELSE IS ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — at 8:46 a.m.: “So great that oil prices are falling (thank you President T). Add that, which is like a big Tax Cut, to our other good Economic news. Inflation down (are you listening Fed)!”
… at 8:16 a.m.: “The large and violent French protests don’t take into account how badly the United States has been treated on Trade by the European Union or on fair and reasonable payments for our GREAT military protection. Both of these topics must be remedied soon.”
MORE SUNDAY BEST — CHUCK TODD spoke with REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD.), incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS” about whether he’ll grant subpoena power to the Republican ranking member on the panel.
CUMMINGS: “No … The subpoenas that I wanted to issue would be much different than the ones I’ve seen. … I want to issue subpoenas that go to the very heart of our democracy and protecting that democracy. And, and subpoenas, by the way, that may involve, say, private industries like the pharmaceutical companies that are — with these skyrocketing drug prices. … It’s our opportunity. I will consult with them. I will work with them, unlike they did with me. But no.”
— ON JAMAL KHASHOGGI: TODD also interviewed SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UTAH) about Trump’s assessment of the Jamal Khashoggi killing: LEE: “I disagree with the President’s assessment. It’s inconsistent with the intelligence I’ve seen.Now look, I don’t have access to everything the President sees. I’m not sure what he’s relying on. Intelligence I’ve seen suggests that this was ordered by the crown prince and is yet another reason why I’ve been pushing, why I joined forces with Bernie Sanders back in February, to get us out of fighting Saudi Arabia’s civil war effort in Yemen against the Houthis.”
— BASH also spoke with REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CALIF.) about Khashoggi: BASH: “Specifically on the — on the murder of Khashoggi, the president says the CIA has not reached a final conclusion on whether the Saudi crown prince at least knew about it. The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed, says flatly the president is lying about that. Do you know? Have you seen the CIA assessment? And is the president lying?”
SCHIFF: “I have been briefed by the CIA. And while I cannot discuss the contents of the briefing in any way, I can say that I think the president is being dishonest with the American people.”
2020 WATCH — GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS spoke with SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OHIO) on ABC’S “THIS WEEK” about a potential 2020 bid: BROWN: “You know, I didn’t have this dream of being President of the United States all my life … but we’re seriously thinking about it, we’re seriously talking about it with family and friends and political allies who have come to me about this.”
— STEPHANOPOULOS also talked with SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MINN.) about 2020: “People are talking to me about this I think, in part, because I have worked really hard to go not just where it’s comfortable but where it’s uncomfortable and did well in a number of those places that Donald Trump won … but right now i’m still just thinking about this, talking to people. I’m sorry to say I have no announcement for you on your show.”
— ON FOX NEWS SUNDAY — REBECCA MORIN: “Sasse says conversation needed on climate change solutions”
THE DEMOCRATIC CONUNDRUM — NYT’S JONATHAN MARTIN in Jackson, Miss.: “Across South, Democrats Risk Speaking Boldly and Alienating Rural White Voters”: “The campaigns of Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Andrew Gillum in Florida and Beto O’Rourke in Texas may have electrified black and progressive white voters — just as [Cindy] Hyde-Smith’s comments may energize Mississippians to support [Mike] Espy — but they had an equal and opposite effect as well: in rural county after rural county, this trio of next-generation Democrats performed worse than President Barack Obama did in 2012.” NYT
K-FILE — “Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith pushed resolution praising Confederate soldier’s effort to ‘defend his homeland,’” by CNN’s Eric Bradner and Andrew Kaczynski: “The measure, which was unearthed by CNN’s KFile during a review of Hyde-Smith’s legislative history, is the latest in a series of issues that have surfaced during her campaign, many of which have evoked Mississippi’s dark history of racism and slavery.
“As a state senator in 2007, Hyde-Smith cosponsored a resolution that honored then-92-year-old Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, calling her ‘the last known living “Real Daughter” of the Confederacy living in Mississippi.’ Pharr’s father had been a Confederate soldier in Robert E. Lee’s army in the Civil War.” CNN
— “Hyde-Smith Attended All-White ‘Seg Academy’ to Avoid Integration,” by Jackson Free Press’ Ashton Pittman: “Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith attended and graduated from a segregation academy that was set up so that white parents could avoid having to send their children to schools with black students, a yearbook reveals. A group photo in the 1975 edition of The Rebel—the Lawrence County Academy Yearbook—illustrates the point. High-school cheerleaders smile at the camera as they lie on the ground in front of their pom-poms, fists supporting their heads.
“In the center, the mascot, dressed in what appears to be an outfit designed to mimic that of a Confederate general, offers a salute as she holds up a large Confederate flag. Third from the right on the ground is a sophomore girl with short hair, identified in the caption as Cindy Hyde.” Jackson Free Press
WAPO’S PHIL RUCKER: “New book by Trump advisers alleges that the president has ‘embedded enemies’”: “Two of the president’s longest-serving advisers allege in a new book that scores of officials inside the White House, Congress, the Justice Department and intelligence agencies are ‘embedded enemies of President Trump’ working to stymie his agenda and delegitimize his presidency. The authors, Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie, are both Republican operatives who do not work in the administration but are close to Trump and fashion themselves as his outside protectors. …
“The authors describe a cohort of White House aides — including former press secretary Sean Spicer and former deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin — as ‘the November Ninth Club,’ arguing that they are establishment Republicans who did not fully support Trump until the day after he was elected, when they began angling for powerful government jobs.
“Lewandowski and Bossie also savage former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn as a ‘limousine liberal’ and ‘the poster boy for the disloyal staff conspiring against President Trump.’ And they accuse former staff secretary Rob Porter of working to thwart Trump’s agenda and style to make him more traditionally ‘presidential.’” WaPo
— CHRIS WALLACE spoke with COREY LEWANDOWSKI on FOX NEWS’ “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: WALLACE: “Did you get into a physical altercation with John Kelly this last winter that had to be broken up by the Secret Service? Yes, or no?” LEWANDOWSKI: “Well, the Secret Service didn’t break anything up. John and I had a very candid discussion as he probably has many times with the president, the difference is”. WALLACE: “Did he grab you?” LEWANDOWSKI: “Look, I don’t want to get into what John may, or may not have done, but what I do think is he understands my position is to support the president and the president’s agenda all the time.”
THE INVESTIGATIONS … “Papadopoulos ordered to jail Monday,” by Josh Gerstein: “A federal judge has rejected a last-ditch bid by former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to put off his looming but brief federal prison sentence. In ruling issued just a day before Papapdopoulos was scheduled to report to serve his two-week sentence for making false statements to FBI agents investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia, U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss said Papadopoulos’s legal arguments fell short of what was needed to justify delaying the sentence Moss imposed in September.” POLITICO
MORE PROBLEMS FOR FACEBOOK — — “Parliament seizes cache of Facebook internal papers,” by the Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr: “Parliament has used its legal powers to seize internal Facebook documents in an extraordinary attempt to hold the US social media giant to account after chief executive Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refused to answer MPs’ questions. … Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of a U.S. software company, Six4Three, to hand over the documents during a business trip to London.
“In another exceptional move, parliament sent a serjeant at arms to his hotel with a final warning and a two-hour deadline to comply with its order. When the software firm founder failed to do so, it’s understood he was escorted to parliament. He was told he risked fines and even imprisonment if he didn’t hand over the documents.” Guardian
L.A. TIMES: “With Jeff Sessions out at the Justice Dept., the marijuana movement exhales,” by Kurtis Lee
BEYOND THE BELTWAY — “New Hampshire political legend falls prey to Trump effect,” by David Siders: “Secretary of State Bill Gardner has had a decades-long run as the legendary, hard-nosed guardian of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary. But he may not make it through the Trump era. Gardner, a fixture in presidential politics after more than 40 years in office, is on the verge of a bitter ouster from his job after supporting stricter voter eligibility requirements and participating in President Donald Trump’s ill-fated voter fraud commission.
“Though he has traditionally garnered support from both Republicans and Democrats — the legislature selects the state’s secretary of state every two years — New Hampshire House Democrats overwhelmingly threw their support to a rival Democrat, Colin Van Ostern, in a preliminary caucus vote recently. Now Gardner is fighting for his survival. Lawmakers are expected to vote Dec. 5 on Gardner’s fate, a month after Democrats won control of both houses of the state legislature.” POLITICO
DANIEL STRAUSS and JAMES ARKIN: “Alabama GOP: Sessions not guaranteed to win back his old seat”: “Republicans are certain they can win back the Alabama Senate seat they lost in spectacular fashion last year. They just aren’t sure whether Jeff Sessions is the one to do it.
“Sessions’ name surfaced as a potential candidate immediately after he was dumped as attorney general this month. But he could be dogged by his strained relationship with President Donald Trump, who remains wildly popular in Alabama and savaged Sessions throughout his tenure at the Justice Department.” POLITICO
FOR YOUR RADAR — “The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?” by NYT’s Somini Sengupta in Hanoi, Vietnam: “Three years after the Paris agreement, when world leaders promised action, coal shows no sign of disappearing. While coal use looks certain to eventually wane worldwide, according to the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency, it is not on track to happen anywhere fast enough to avert the worst effects of climate change.
“Last year, in fact, global production and consumption increased after two years of decline. Cheap, plentiful and the most polluting of fossil fuels, coal remains the single largest source of energy to generate electricity worldwide. This, even as renewables like solar and wind power are rapidly becoming more affordable. Soon, coal could make no financial sense for its backers.” NYT
BONUS GREAT HOLIDAY WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman, filing from Lima, Peru:
— “How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross,” by Jolie Kerr in the NYT: “The NPR host offers eight spicy tips for having better conversations.”NYT
— “The Clinton Impeachment, as Told by the People Who Lived It,” by David A. Graham and Cullen Murphy in The Atlantic’s December issue: “Twenty years ago, Bill Clinton became the first president to be impeached since Andrew Johnson, in 1868. We offer a recounting by people who played a role.”Atlantic
— “The Would-Be Terrorist vs. the FBI Photo of Mike Mariani,” by Mike Mariani in GQ: “Since 9/11, more than 300 people have been prosecuted for terrorism-related offenses based on information collected in FBI stings—over one-third of all terrorism defendants. This is the story of one such American—a marginalized, mentally ill young man who drew the FBI’s attention with his social-media posts and then staggered into its elaborately constructed snare.” GQ (h/t Longform.org)
— “Debt: A Love Story,” – Wealthsimple – per TheBrowser.com’s description: The tale of a “[w]ell-educated and well-paid American couple [Tom and Kate] with an armful of credit cards, two mortgages, a succession of cars, a Whole Foods habit, and three children in private school, marvel — with an awe-inspiring mixture of naivety, denial, foolishness and entitlement — that they are always in debt.” Wealthsimple
— “Do Proteins Hold the Key to the Past?” by Sam Knight in the New Yorker: “New methods are allowing a group of scientists to reëxamine the world’s libraries and archives, in search of the hidden lives of authors.” New Yorker
— “American Exorcism,” by Mike Mariani in the Atlantic’s December issue: “Priests are fielding more requests than ever for help with demonic possession, and a centuries-old practice is finding new footing in the modern world.” The Atlantic
— “In Brazil, Animals Cross a Road of No Return,” by Rebecca Boyle in the NYT – per Longreads.com’s description: “Highway BR-262 cuts through Brazil’s Pantanal, the world’s largest freshwater wetland. After studying the road for two decades, biologist Wagner Fischer can say with certainty that it’s one of the world’s deadliest roads for wildlife. ‘Ecologists are very worried,’ Fischer said. ‘The authorities pretend to be worried.’” NYT
— “A day in the life of Lloyd Squires, Vermont’s ‘best’ bagel maker,” by Burlington Free Press’ Evan Weiss – per Longreads.com’s description: “He really loves bagels — you’d have to, to start work at 2:11AM every day. Spare him a thought the next time you enjoy an everything with scallion cream cheese.” Burlington Free Press
— “Learning to Love Robots,” by the New Yorker’s Patricia Marx: “With advances in A.I. and engineering, robots are galumphing, rolling, and being U.P.S.-delivered into our homes.” New Yorker
— “Revisiting 2006: The Year America Went Crazy,” by Charles McElwee in National Review: “It was the year when Twitter hatched, Facebook went mainstream, and Google snapped up YouTube. BlackBerries distracted the mind with emails and Web browsing, Razr phones wearied thumbs with T9 predictive texting, and iPods remained an essential workout accessory. Androids and iPhones had yet to overwhelm dopamine levels with pixelated screens. It was a year before Amazon unleashed the Kindle, making Borders a suburban mausoleum for books and magazines.” NR
SPOTTED: Eric Holder waiting yesterday at DCA for a Delta flight to JFK … Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) waiting to board a 3:15 p.m. Delta flight from MSP to DCA — pic
WEEKEND WEDDING — “Keo Chea, Edward Chan” – N.Y. Times: “Mrs. Chan, 38, is an assistant director of the public engagement division at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington. She graduated from the University of California, Davis, and received a law degree from the University of California, Hastings. … Mr. Chan, 35, is a principal of 1315 Capital, a health care private equity firm in Philadelphia. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University, and received an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.” With a pic. NYT
BIRTHDAYS: Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager are 37 … Philippe Reines is 49 … Lee Dunn, head of international elections outreach at Google … Politico’s Brent Griffiths … Rachel Holt, VP/head of new mobility at Uber … David Almacy, an Edelman and Bush WH alum now a PR and digital strategist (hat tip: Blake Waggoner) … Abby Phillip, CNN White House correspondent … Bo Stern … Lisa Borders … Amanda Gross … S. Yael Gordon … Percy Sledge … Joe Gibbs … Bill Dauster (h/t Jon Haber) … Jason Rae … Steph Dodge … Shilpa Phadke … Robert Steurer (h/t Scott Jennings) … Jason Huffman … Douglas Smith … Charly Norton … former NH Gov. John Lynch is 66 … Alan Nguyen … Loully Saney, deputy press secretary for Tim Kaine, celebrating in Boston with friends and family … Douglas Troutman (h/t Brian Sansoni) … Bob Ehrlich is 61 …
… Colin Crowell, VP of global public policy and corporate philanthropy at Twitter … Keith Sonderling, senior policy adviser for Wage and Hour at DOL, is 36 (h/t fiancée Fara Klein) … Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) is 44 … ThinkProgress’ Kira Lerner is 3-0 … Sarah Lynch, Justice Dept. reporter for Reuters in DC … Leah Regan … Emilie Jackson … Kendrick Lau, who earlier this year married Jocelyn Wong, a lawyer at Cleary … Michelle Yi … Isaac Wright … Alexandra Givens … Bucky Dent … Amy Grant … Jeff Ballabon … Mark Schleifstein … Sean Durns … Jennifer Jacques … Christine Isett … Donna Zaccaro … Robin Brand … Eric Oginsky (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)