BREAKING … ABC NEWS … “Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, dies by suicide: Officials,” Ella Torres and Aaron Katersky: “Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced millionaire who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, has died by suicide in his Lower Manhattan jail cell, three law enforcement officials told ABC News Saturday morning.” ABC
SPOTTED at President DONALD TRUMP’S fundraiser at the Sandcastle estate in Bridgehampton: Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Diana Zeldin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump Jr. and Kim Guilfoyle, Jared Kushner, Rudy Giuliani, Monica Crowley, Bill O’Reilly, Arthur Schwartz, Sergio Gor, Johnny DeStefano, Chris Wirth, AJ Catsamatidis, Rita Crosby, Liddy Huntsman, Katrina Pierson and Gary Budowich.
— SPOTTED at dinner at Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor Friday night: Donald Trump Jr. and Kim Guilfoyle, Johnny DeStefano, Arthur Schwartz, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Diana Zeldin, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Lynne Patton, Tony Sayegh, Alexandra Preate, Katrina Pierson, Catherine O’Neil, Andrew Giuliani, Joe Farrell and Danielle Yancy.
VP MIKE PENCE is fundraising today in Nantucket, and is expected to raise $1 million for Trump victory.
— BOSTON GLOBE: “A copy of an invitation says the 11:30 a.m. event is hosted by Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, among others. It will benefit a joint fund-raising committee of the RNC and Trump’s re-election campaign.
“The invite asks for a minimum of $2,800 for a lunch ticket. Governor Charlie Baker is set to greet Pence at the airport, according to Baker aides. Baker is doing so in his official capacity and won’t attend the fund-raiser, they said.” Boston Globe
STOP HIM IF YOU’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE … @realDonaldTrump 8:08 a.m.: “Never has the press been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt! We are not fighting the Democrats, they are easy, we are fighting the seriously dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media. They have gone totally CRAZY. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Happy Saturday morning. THE PRESIDENT is at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., and has no events scheduled.
SPEAKING OF THE PRESIDENT’S PROPERTIES … WAPO’S JOSH PARTLOW and DAVID FAHRENTHOLD in Ossining, N.Y.: “‘If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter’: How a Trump construction crew has relied on immigrants without legal status”: “For nearly two decades, the Trump Organization has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to build fountains and waterfalls, sidewalks and rock walls at the company’s winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida.
“Other employees at Trump clubs were so impressed by the laborers — who did strenuous work with heavy stone — that they nicknamed them ‘Los Picapiedras,’ Spanish for ‘the Flintstones.’
“For years, their ranks have included workers who entered the United States illegally, according to two former members of the crew. Another employee, still with the company, said that remains true today. President Trump ‘doesn’t want undocumented people in the country,’ said one worker, Jorge Castro, a 55-year-old immigrant from Ecuador without legal status who left the company in April after nine years. ‘But at his properties, he still has them.’” WaPo
FORE! … SENDING A MESSAGE … AP/SEOUL: “NKorea fires 2 missiles into sea in likely protest of drills”: “ North Korea on Saturday extended a recent streak of weapons displays by firing what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, according to South Korea’s military.
“The fifth round of launches in less than three weeks was likely another protest at the slow pace of nuclear negotiations with the United States and the continuance of U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises that the North says are aimed at a northward invasion.
“The South’s military alerted reporters to the launches hours after President Donald Trump said he received a ‘beautiful’ three-page letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and predicted that they will have more talks to try resolving the nuclear standoff. Trump reiterated that he was not bothered by the flurry of short-range weapons Kim has launched despite the growing threat they pose to U.S. allies in the region, saying Pyongyang has never broken its pledge to pause nuclear tests.” AP
— @realDonaldTrump at 7:58 a.m.: “In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was………also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!”
WAPO’S PAUL KANE: “Congress’s August recess turns into a political cudgel in gun debate”: “The August recess, as it’s known in Congress, is considered so sacrosanct that only one time in the past 30 years have the House and the Senate remained in session until late August.
“But that lone break from summer tradition, in 1994, continues to reverberate in today’s politics, both in what gun-safety advocates are demanding and on the 2020 presidential campaign trail.
“Congress stayed in session until late August 1994 to pass a landmark crime bill that included a ban on assault weapons, the Violence Against Women Act, tough sentencing guidelines for federal crimes, and an expansion of the death penalty.” WaPo … 1994 WaPo story: “SENATE GIVES UP ON HEALTH CARE, PASSES CRIME BILL”
ON RED FLAG LAWS … BOSTON GLOBE: “Mass. adopted gun confiscation law to avoid potentially violent ends. A year later, it’s rarely used,” by Matt Stout: “The experience in Massachusetts, however, suggests it’s been largely used in cases of suicide prevention and domestic incidents. Broader research is scant, and although advocates say the laws may have already helped prevent an attack elsewhere, it’s unclear whether the law has played such a role in Massachusetts. …
“The Massachusetts law, which Governor Charlie Baker signed in July 2018 in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., massacre, gives judges the power to strip a person of their legally owned guns after a family member, current or former romantic partner, or local police official files a signed affidavit with the court, identifying them as a danger. …
“Since last August, just 20 petitions (also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders) have been filed in Massachusetts courts, with most — about 14 — generating at least an emergency order from a judge, court data show.” Boston Globe
2020 WATCH …
— THE WING DING DINNER … NATASHA KORECKI and DAVID SIDERS in Clear Lake, Iowa: “Scenes from Iowa’s rowdy, anti-Trump Wing Ding”: “On Friday, the same crowd of 2020 Democrats that ripped each other apart on the national debate stage in Detroit transformed into a paragon of “Iowa nice’ at the Wing Ding — making their best pitches to potential Iowa caucus-goers without eviscerating each other.” POLITICO
TODAY ON THE DES MOINES REGISTER’s soapbox at the Iowa State Fair: 9 a.m.: Jay Inslee … 10:30 a.m.: Kamala Harris … 11:15 a.m.: Tim Ryan … 12:45 p.m.: Amy Klobuchar … 1:30 p.m.: Joe Sestak … 2:15 p.m.: Kirsten Gillibrand … 3 p.m.: John Hickenlooper … 3:45 p.m.: Elizabeth Warren … 4:30 p.m.: Cory Booker
— NYT’S LISA LERER, SYDNEY EMBER and REID EPSTEIN in Des Moines on A1: “Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?”: “The pack of cheering voters, sweating reporters and snapping cameras surrounding Joe Biden made its way through the Iowa State Fair like a pulsating amoeba, consuming everyone and everything in its path.
“‘Do you like being the front-runner?’ a reporter shouted Thursday afternoon. ‘What about calling President Trump a white supremacist, like Senator Elizabeth Warren did?’ ‘You just want me to say the words so I sound like everybody else,’ Mr. Biden said, a flash of anger in his voice. ‘I’m not everybody else. I’m Joe Biden. I’m staying the way I am.’” NYT … Front page of the Times
— POLITICO: “State political heavyweights Bob and Sue Dvorsky announced they would support [Kamala Harris] for president in 2020 and would join her on stage at the Iowa State Fair later Saturday.” POLITICO
— TRACKING TRADE … THE POLITICS … NYT’S ANA SWANSON: “Democrats’ 2020 Problem: How to Be Tougher on Trade Than Trump”: “President Trump’s escalating economic war with China highlights a challenge for Democrats hoping to unseat him in 2020: They’ll have a hard time being tougher on trade than he is.” NYT
— WSJ’S MICHELLE HACKMAN: “Senior Voters, Some Wavering on Trump, Figure to Shape 2020 Election”: “The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. electorate is seniors. They supported President Trump in 2016 but aren’t squarely in his camp as the 2020 campaign picks up.
“In 2016, despite polling showing an advantage for Democrat Hillary Clinton, voters over 65 backed Mr. Trump in the presidential election by a 52%-45% margin, according to exit polls. With still more than a year before next year’s election, 41% of seniors in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in June said they would prefer to see Mr. Trump re-elected, while 48% favored a generic Democrat to win in 2020. That comes as 46% of seniors said they approve of Mr. Trump’s performance in office, slightly higher than his 44% overall approval rating.” WSJ
— THEO MEYER and ELENA SCHNEIDER: “Lobbyist for U.S. Soccer reached out to Democratic presidential candidates”: “A lobbyist for the U.S. Soccer Federation reached out to at least five Democratic presidential campaigns ahead of the debates last month to argue that the women’s national team isn’t paid less than the men’s team.” POLITICO
WAPO … KNOWING JOSEPH MAGUIRE: “Trump’s pick for intelligence director is a respected Special Operations veteran,” by Shane Harris and Ellen Nakashima: “The president and Maguire don’t know each other well, said current and former national security officials, who said they were relieved at Maguire’s selection after Trump previously tried to install a political loyalist as the permanent director of national intelligence.
“They said they see Maguire as a principled public servant, if not the most experienced candidate to lead the intelligence agencies, unlike the outgoing Gordon, who was steeped in the inner workings of the vast intelligence bureaucracy.” WaPo
POLITICO NJ’S MATT FRIEDMAN in Trenton: “Malinowski testing what it means to be a swing-district Democrat”
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: “Texodus: Why are Texas Republicans in Congress bolting for the exits, and what does it mean for 2020?,” by Tom Benning
CLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 16 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman (@dlippman), filing from Porto, Portugal:
— “You can’t stop mass shootings by punishing people with mental illnesses: Involuntary confinement won’t make anyone safer, but it will hurt people like me.” by Sara Pearl Kenigsberg in the Washington Post. WaPo
— “The Schoolteacher and the Genocide,” by Sarah A. Topol on the cover of the N.Y. Times Magazine: “He dreamed of educating the children in his village. But soon he learned that it was dangerous for the Rohingya to dream.” NYT Magazine
— “Arming the Cartels: The Inside Story of a Texas Gun-Smuggling Ring,” by Seth Harp in Rolling Stone: “Selling weapons south of the border is big business — and America’s loose gun laws are also devastating for Mexico.” Rolling Stone
— “I Tried Hiding From Silicon Valley in a Pile of Privacy Gadgets,” by Joel Stein on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek: “Avoiding digital snoops takes more than throwing money at the problem, but that part can be really fun.” Bloomberg Businessweek
— “Foul Ball: Did a N.J. man get duped into buying $100K in bogus sports memorabilia?” by NBC News’ Rich Schapiro, Stephanie Gosk, Kenzi Abou-Sabe and Kevin Monahan: “Charles Kerr viewed his collection as an investment. But his family now believes he was swindled by a man who bought Joe DiMaggio’s personal collection.”NBC News
— “Was E-mail a Mistake?” by Cal Newport in The New Yorker: “The walls of the Central Intelligence Agency’s original headquarters, in Langley, Virginia, contain more than thirty miles of four-inch steel tubing. The tubes were installed in the early nineteen-sixties, as part of an elaborate, vacuum-powered intra-office mail system. Messages, sealed in fibreglass containers, rocketed at thirty feet a second among approximately a hundred and fifty stations spread over eight floors.” New Yorker (hat tip: ALDaily.com)
— “A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon,” by Wired’s Daniel Oberhaus: “The Beresheet lunar lander carried thousands of books, DNA samples, and a few thousand water bears to the moon. But did any of it survive the crash?” Wired
— “The great escape: In a chaotic world, escape rooms make sense,” by Vox’s Rachel Sugar: “Escape is big. There are, by the most recent unofficial count, at least 2,300 escape rooms in the United States. They are a new staple of corporate team-building, which puts them in an elite category of activities you might be required to do with your boss to prove that you are a team player who loves bonding.” Vox (h/t Longreads.com)
— “One is Chinese. One is American. How a journalist discovered and reunited identical twins,” by L.A. Times’ Barbara Demick. LAT
— “Every single question you’re likely to be asked at a J.P. Morgan interview,” by Beecher Tuttle in eFinancial Careers – per TheBrowser.com’s description: “Some openers: How many windows are there in this building? How many trees are there in Central Park? How many planes land at Gatwick every day? How many people enter London every day for work? How many times does a ball get hit in the average game of tennis?” eFinancial Careers
— “An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives,” by Rowan Jacobsen in Outside Magazine: “Recycling is broken. The oceans are trashed. As the plastics crisis spirals out of control, an unlikely collection of executives and environmentalists set sail for the North Atlantic Gyre in a desperate attempt to find common ground.” Outside
— “Chasing the Pink,” by Sarah Mason in Logic magazine: “Your rate of pay does not increase for being a highly-rated driver. And yet, I wanted to be a highly-rated driver. This is the thing that is so brilliant and awful about Lyft and Uber’s gamification: it preys on our desire to be of service, to be liked, to be good. On weeks that I am rated highly, I am more motivated to drive. On weeks that I am rated poorly, I am more motivated to drive. It works on me, even though I know better.” Logic (h/t TheBrowser.com)
— “How a criminal investigation in Georgia set an ominous tone for African-American voters,” by Yahoo News’ Jon Ward in Quitman, Georgia: “The Quitman story … helps explain why many, especially in the African-American community, look at the policies [now Georgia Gov. Brian] Kemp enacted during his time as secretary of state and see them as part of a larger pattern in Georgia — and in many other states around the country — where the law, government authority and conservative media are used to try to intimidate them away from exercising political power.” Yahoo
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPOTTED at the Iowa State Fair on Friday: Greta Van Susteren and John Coale, John Rogers, Tammy Haddad, Maeve Reston and Steve Hilton. … Bill Hemmer at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab on Friday.
WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE LOUNGE — Eli Nachmany is leaving the White House’s Office of American Innovation to start at Harvard Law School. He also served as former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s speechwriter, assisted on the Kavanaugh confirmation and worked on the Trump 2016 campaign.
THE SHOWS, by Matt Mackowiak, filing from Austin:
“Meet the Press”: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan … Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Panel: Bob Costa, Hugh Hewitt, Maria Teresa Kumar and Kristen Welker.
“State of the Union”: Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan … Beto O’Rourke … Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Panel: Mitch Landrieu, Mia Love, Xochitl Hinojosa and Adolfo Franco.
“This Week”: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) … Pierre Thomas, Christian Picciolini and Mary McCord … Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Sara Fagen and Patrick Gaspard.
“Face the Nation”: Michael Bloomberg … House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) … Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
“Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) … Kellyanne Conway. Panel: Charlie Hurt, Howard Kurtz, Donna Brazile and Kristen Soltis Anderson … “Power Player of the Week” Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (substitute anchor: Fox News’ Bill Hemmer).
“Inside Politics”: Panel: Eliana Johnson, Mike Bender, Sahil Kapur and Molly Ball (substitute anchor: CNN’s Phil Mattingly).
“Sunday Morning Futures”: Former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon … entrepreneur Peter Thiel … Trump campaign economic adviser Steve Moore.
“MediaBuzz”: Mollie Hemingway … Richard Fowler … Gillian Turner … Bill Bennett … Brett Larson … Michael Sanchez.
“Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Michael Chertoff … Kathleen Belew … Lawrence Summers … Daniel Pink
“Reliable Sources”: Tim Archuleta, Enrique Acevedo and Jackie Kucinich … Noah Schachtman… Carole Cadwalladr … Julia Angwin … Mark Brown (substitute anchor: CNN’s John Avlon).
“Al Punto” : Adria Gonzalez … Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) … Beto O’Rourke … Javier Corral (live from El Paso).
“The Communicators”: Heritage Foundation VP for Communications Robert Bluey and Competitive Enterprise Institute research fellow Patrick Hedger … “Newsmakers”: SEIU president Mary Kay Henry, questioned by Reuters’ Ginger Gibson and Bloomberg Law’s Andrew Wallender … “Q&A”: Middlebury College’s Allison Stanger.
“Kasie DC”: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio … Washington Gov. Jay Inslee … The Phil Rucker … Sam Stein … A.B. Stoddard … Alexi McCammond … Stuart Stevens … Matt Mowers … Michael Steel … Sam Hall … Julie Rovner … Jacob Soboroff.
“Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or Stitcher or listen at MackOnPoliticsPodcast.com: Crime Research Prevention Center president John Lott.
BIRTHWEEK (was Friday): Lindsay Singleton, SVP of ROKK Solutions.
BIRTHDAYS: Nancy Cordes, CBS News chief congressional correspondent … Andrew Sullivan is 56 … California Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (hat tip: Jon Haber) … Gina Ormand Cherwin … Meg Ansara, founding partner and CEO at 270 Strategies … John Dunagan, president of Highland Advocacy Group … Wood Foster … POLITICO’s Alex Thompson … Farnaz Mansouri … POLITICO Europe’s Jan Cienski … Matthew MacWilliams … Sally Garner … Kevin McAlister is 31 … Jim Brady, founder and CEO of Spirited Media, is 52 … Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) is 59 … Addison DiSesa … Jessica Wehrman … Paul Conway … NYT’s Laura Kim … Sarah Bryant Burns of the Cato Institute … Sophie Vershbow of Penguin Random House … Sarah Kyle, senior adviser and senior director of federal affairs at Eli Lilly …
… Joshua Karp … Justin Jenkins, digital coalitions director for Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign (h/t Emmy Bengtson and Brooke Goren) … Tyler Brandon … Alex Marquardt, CNN senior national correspondent … Chris Hansen is 37 … Peter Morgan … Mary Warlick … David Forman of the American Gaming Association … Chirag Shah … Mike Linhorst … Ipsos’ Neha Jain … Genevieve Glatsky … Time’s Lissandra Villa … Kevin King … Andy Coulouris, director of federal affairs at DTE Energy … Robert Cogan … Leila Clifford is 31 … Julie Johnson … Ally Harpootlian of ReThink Drones … Jayson Rodriguez … Noah Marine … Katie Papa … Mark Walker … Lucy Goss … Emily Buck … Cameron Onumah … Rick Phelps … George Appleby … Vanessa Reed … Paul Foutch is 55 … Arnold Punaro … David Bistricer is 7-0 … Joseph S. Allerhand … Steve Glazer … Jack Moline … George Appleby … Ben Giesser … Buffy Wicks (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)