POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump To Speak About Immigration At 4:15 Today

By JAKE SHERMAN, ANNA PALMER, DANIEL LIPPMAN and GARRETT ROSS 

Presented by

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President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before departing for France on Friday. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP spoke at length to reporters this morning before departing for Paris to attend a World War I commemoration. The president continued to weigh in on an array of topics on Twitter after takeoff for the hours-long flight just before 10 a.m.

ON ACTING AG MATT WHITAKER, Trump claimed “I don’t know Whitaker,” adding that he is “highly thought of” and a “highly respected man.”

-- MAGGIE HABERMAN (@maggieNYT): “Interesting for him to do ‘I hardly know the guy’ this quickly. He does know him, from repeated Oval Office visits. (This doesn’t bode well for Whitaker becoming permanent).”

-- THE PRESIDENT said he did not speak to Whitaker about special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation. He also lamented that Mueller had not been confirmed by the Senate. In 2001, Mueller was confirmed as FBI director 98-0, with two not voting. And special counsels are not subject to Senate confirmation.

BLOOMBERG’S JENNIFER JACOBS (@JenniferJJacobs): “QUESTION (from @abbydphillip): Do you want acting AG Matt Whitaker to rein in Mueller? TRUMP: ‘What a stupid question.’”

-- NOT ONLY IS THIS NOT STUPID, it’s probably one of the most crucial questions facing this administration.

-- TRUMP also said that he had not spoken to Chris Christie about becoming attorney general. “I did not see Chris Christie yesterday, I heard he was in the White House,” he said. “I like Chris Christie, but I have not talked to him about it.”

ON THE FLORIDA RECOUNT: Trump called the delayed vote counting a “disgrace” and said “bad things are happening” in Broward County before casting doubt on the results still coming in. “We’ve been to court, had a lot of drama. We won. I say this: We easily won. But every hour it seems to be going down. I think that people have to look at it very, very cautiously.”

-- THE PRESIDENT TWEETS -- @realDonaldTrump at 10:55 a.m.: “[email protected] ran a great race in Georgia – he won. It is time to move on!”

… at 10:58 a.m.: “You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia – but the Election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!”

… at 11:52 a.m.: “As soon as Democrats sent their best Election stealing lawyer, Marc Elias, to Broward County they miraculously started finding Democrat votes. Don’t worry, Florida -- I am sending much better lawyers to expose the FRAUD!”

FACT-CHECK -- From

MARC CAPUTO and

MATT DIXON’s Florida Playbook this morning: “TIMING ISSUE — Few would dispute that Broward’s elections office is plagued by rank incompetence, and such incompetence could create the atmosphere for fraudsters to operate. But there’s just no evidence right now that anything illegal has happened. The vote totals are simply changing as more ballots from Democratic counties are being uploaded. There’s a reason Saturday (and not Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) is the deadline to upload results.” POLITICO

WHAT ELSE IS ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND -- @realDonaldTrump at 12:10 p.m.: “Jeff Flake(y) doesn’t want to protect the Non-Senate confirmed Special Counsel, he wants to protect his future after being unelectable in Arizona for the ‘crime’ of doing a terrible job! A weak and ineffective guy!”

ON JIM ACOSTA AND OTHER REPORTERS: Asked how long CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House ban would last, Trump said, “I haven’t made that decision, but it could be others also.” He then turned his ire to April Ryan. “You talk about somebody who’s a loser. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing … She gets a pay raise, and she gets a contract with, I think, CNN. But she’s very nasty.”

-- TRUMP also rejected reports that press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had shared on Twitter an altered video of Acosta’s interaction with a White House aide. “No one manipulated it. Give me a break, see that’s just dishonest reporting. … They made it close up, they showed it close up.”

Good Friday afternoon. RBG UPDATE -- STATEMENT FROM SUPREME COURT SPOX: “Justice Ginsburg has been discharged from the hospital. She is doing well and plans to work from home today.”

-- TRUMP told reporters he hopes Ginsburg serves on the court “for many years.”

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MORE ABOUT MATT WHITAKER … AP’S RYAN FOLEY: “Acting AG faced criticism for case against gay Iowa Democrat”: “In 2007, Matt McCoy was a rising star in the Democratic Party, Iowa’s first openly gay senator and a leading champion for the party’s causes. But then, his allies say, McCoy’s promising career was stalled by a politically motivated federal prosecution brought by a Republican U.S. attorney, Matthew G. Whitaker …

“The case against McCoy fell apart in court amid allegations of political bias and prosecutorial misconduct. A jury quickly acquitted McCoy of the criminal charge, deciding that he had not attempted to extort money from a former business partner. … When he was considering a run for Congress last year in a seat a Democrat captured in Tuesday’s election, a national publication brought his indictment back up in what he called a damaging story.” AP

THE INVESTIGATIONS …

DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “Judges order Mueller to explain impact of Sessions-Whitaker DOJ shakeup”: “A federal appellate court panel on Friday ordered Robert Mueller as well as attorneys trying to knock the special counsel out of his job to file new legal briefs that explain how this week’s shakeup atop the Justice Department could influence their case.

“In a one-paragraph order, the three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit told Mueller and lawyers for a former aide to Roger Stone that they have until Nov. 19 to turn in briefs that sift through Wednesday’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the legal reaction it may have created.” POLITICO

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THE LATEST FROM CALIFORNIA … NYT’S JENNIFER MEDINA and

MATTHEW HAAG in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

: “Woolsey Fire Sends Thousand Oaks Residents Fleeing, Hours After Mass Shooting”: “The Woolsey Fire delivered a one-two punch for Thousand Oaks, igniting just hours after a gunman opened fire inside a popular country music bar in the city on Wednesday night and killed 12 people.

“On Friday morning, people who had fled their homes gathered in a shelter set up at the Thousand Oaks Teen Center, which was used the day before as a meeting place for families and friends of shooting victims. Some slept on cots, while others huddled around a television to watch the latest news about the fire.” NYT

-- @AP: “BREAKING: Official says there has been loss of life in major Northern California wildfire, says number of deaths unknown.”

AT THE BORDER … TED HESSON: “Trump signs proclamation blocking asylum seekers caught at the U.S.-Mexico border”: “The ban will last 90 days, according to the DOJ official. During that time, U.S. officials will be ordered to consult with the government of Mexico to address asylum and immigration issues, the official said on a call with reporters. …

“The proclamation will work in tandem with a fast-track regulation published Thursday in the Federal Register. The regulation references the same federal statute the administration employed for Trump’s travel ban. Under the statute, the president can bar the entry of foreigners deemed ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.’” POLITICO

-- NYT’S KIRK SEMPLE in San Pedro Tapanatepec, Mexico:

“Caravan Walks Quietly On, U.S. Opposition a Distant Rumble”: “Even from the early days of their trip, many migrants in the caravan knew Mr. Trump had cast them as an invading horde looking to game the system and steal jobs from United States citizens. But to many, his declarations have been little more than a distant rumble on the horizon, a problem for later.

“Driven by a deep faith rooted in Christianity, many have clung to a belief that everything would work out in the end, that Mr. Trump’s heart would be touched and he would allow them into the United States to work.” NYT

-- WAPO’S GLENN KESSLER: “The Trump administration’s fuzzy math on ‘criminals’ in the caravan”

FOR THOSE KEEPING TRACK -- “Judge tosses Trump’s Keystone XL approval over climate change,” by Alex Guillén: “Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for Montana ruled that the Trump administration almost completely ignored climate change in its analysis supporting the pipeline’s construction, a shift that unlawfully reversed the Obama administration’s 2015 decision rejecting the pipeline’s cross-border permit.

“Morris, an Obama appointee, directed the Trump administration in his ruling to prepare a new environmental study before the pipeline can resume construction, leaving the door open to a renewed approval in the future.” POLITICO

-- TRUMP told reporters this morning: “It was a political decision made by a judge. I think it’s a disgrace.”

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REENA FLORES and

DEREK ROBERTSON -- “How an all-woman, pro-gun control ad crew is flipping Republican seats”: “Moving from state to state, [Sarah] Ullman’s crew has attempted a small-scale revolution in the political admaking process, providing professional-quality spots for candidates who might otherwise have had to cough up crucial campaign dollars for them.

“Of the 190 candidates for whom Ullman’s group cut ads, 76 won their races this week, all except one of those offices flipping from red to blue — a result that Ullman hopes to continue to improve upon in 2020.” POLITICO

AFTERNOON LISTEN … TIM ALBERTA -- OFF MESSAGE PODCAST: “What It Takes to Win (and Lose) the House”: CHARLIE KELLY, executive director of House Majority PAC, and

CORRY BLISS, executive director of Congressional Leadership Fund, sit down for a conversation about what happened in key midterm races.

Listen and subscribe

WHAT WALL STREET IS READING -- “Goldman Sachs’s Ex-CEO Lloyd Blankfein Met Malaysian at Center of 1MDB Scandal,” by WSJ’s Tom Wright and Liz Hoffman: “Former Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein attended two meetings with a Malaysian financier at the center of one of the world’s largest financial scandals, including one after the Wall Street bank’s compliance department had raised multiple concerns about the financier’s background and said the bank shouldn’t do business with him.

“The financier, Jho Low, was indicted this month by the U.S. Justice Department and charged with helping steal billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Bhd., an investment fund that he helped run from behind the scenes.” WSJ

MEDIAWATCH -- From Jack Blanchard’s London Playbook: “Playbook hears the FT’s long-serving News Editor Peter Spiegel is returning to his native U.S. to head up the paper’s expanding Stateside operation. Three well-placed sources say Spiegel has been offered the promotion after he was almost poached by former BBC boss James Harding for his new media startup Tortoise. The details of Spiegel’s new role are still being finalized, and it’s unclear yet what this means for the FT’s current U.S. managing editor, Gillian Tett.” POLITICO EU

-- Vivian Yee will be NYT’s Middle East correspondent based in Beirut. She previously was a national immigration reporter.

TRAILER OF THE DAY --

“Divide And Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” .

TV TONIGHT -- Bob Costa sits down with NBC’s Chuck Todd, TIME’s Molly Ball, WaPo’s Karoun Demirjian and NYT’s Mark Landler on PBS’ “Washington Week” at 8 p.m.

TRANSITION -- Chip Meyers will be a senior policy adviser at Advanced Policy Consulting. He previously was VP of global public affairs at UPS.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Kelly Poulsen, VP of federal government relations at the Distilled Spirits Council and a Denny Rehberg and Mark Green alum, and

Niels Poulsen, specialist in capital markets at Fannie Mae, welcomed Lukas Erik Poulsen.

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