Good Friday morning. WHAT YOUR WHITE HOUSE IS UP TO — “Trump Aides, Seeking Leverage, Investigate Mueller’s Investigators,” by NYT’s Mike Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Matt Apuzzo: “President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort. The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.” http://nyti.ms/2tM6iWQ

AP’S JULIE PACE: “Attorney Jay Sekulow, a member of the president’s external legal team, told The Associated Press that the lawyers ‘will consistently evaluate the issue of conflicts and raise them in the appropriate venue.’” http://bit.ly/2tw2xtk

Story Continued Below

FOUR BYLINES — CAROL LEONNIG, ASHLEY PARKER, ROZ HELDERMAN and TOM HAMBURGER: “Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation”: “Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort. Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves. Trump’s legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“Further adding to the challenges facing Trump’s outside lawyers, the team’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, resigned on Thursday, according to two people familiar with his departure. Corallo did not respond to immediate requests for comment.” http://wapo.st/2uHVmxP

@EricHolder: “There is NO basis to question the integrity of Mueller or those serving with him in the special counsel’s office. And no conflicts either”.

**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh

CLIP AND SAVE — @MajorCBS: “Via @JaySekulow ‘Pardons are not being discussed and are not on the table.’ @realDonaldTrump #legalteam”.

— “Special Counsel Investigating Possible Money Laundering by Paul Manafort,” by WSJ’s Erica Orden: “The inquiry into the issue by Mr. Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and his team began several weeks ago.” http://on.wsj.com/2tvOYu2

REAL WORLD IMPLICATIONS — “Trump’s public Russia comments could cause legal headaches for him-and his kids,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Josh Dawsey: “President Donald Trump’s decision to talk off the cuff about the Russia probe to reporters allowed him to put out his version of events-but increased the legal risks to him, as well as to his children and the growing number of associates who have been pulled into the expanding investigation. Every public statement by the president or others involved opens a line of questioning for special counsel Robert Mueller or lawmakers exploring the contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the 2016 election. Like the president’s tweets, his interviews can be used to establish facts or intent, offering investigators a gold mine of information but potentially creating conflicts for others that can lead to headaches for their various lawyers-or to criminal charges including perjury or obstruction of justice.” http://politi.co/2voOgMk

REMEMBER HIM? — “Steve Bannon’s disappearing act,” by Eliana Johnson and Annie Karni: “Steve Bannon has largely disappeared from the White House’s most sensitive policy debates — a dramatic about-face for an operative once characterized as the most powerful man in Washington. Bannon, chastened by internal rivalries and by President Donald Trump’s growing suspicion that he is looking out for his own interests, is in a self-imposed exile, having chosen to step back from Trump’s inner circle for the sake of self-preservation, according to several White House advisers who spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering a colleague.

“He was absent from Trump’s recent trips to Europe for the G-20 summit and from his visit French president Emmanuel Macron. Bannon’s non-attendance is all the more noteworthy given his interest in European history and politics, particularly his antipathy to the European Union. And while Trump’s rousing call in Warsaw for the defense of Western civilization echoed the populist ideology Bannon promoted as chief of the right-wing website Breitbart News, two senior White House aides said that Bannon had no hand in crafting Trump’s populist address. He did not participate in administration conference calls planning the remarks, they say, which were largely written by chief speechwriter Stephen Miller, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and NSC communications aide Michael Anton.” http://politi.co/2uPmA6v

W.H. REVOLVING DOOR — “Scaramucci under consideration for White House communications post,” by Josh Dawsey (who wrote seven separate stories yesterday!): “Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, has been engaged in talks to join the White House communications shop, two White House officials said. Scaramucci, who is a frequent TV surrogate for Trump, is liked by the president. Trump ‘thinks he is really good at making the case for him,’ one of these people said. ‘He loves him on TV.’

“Scaramucci would enter the communications operation in a high-level role, but the specifics have not been determined — nor when he would begin. One of the White House officials cautioned the talks could still fall part. The other person said Scaramucci would be involved heavily in the TV part of the operation. Scaramucci didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.” http://politi.co/2gPfmJw

— SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, Scaramucci has been floated for the following roles: a Valerie Jarrett-like liaison role with the business community, ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank and now communications director at the White House.

****** A message from the National Retail Federation: {Video} From front-line cashier to running a company, America’s Retail Champion Trudy Trombley knows the opportunity that lies within retail. So do her fellow Vermont retailers. Watch their story. ******

OUT — CBS’S MAJOR GARRETT: “Marc Kasowitz and Mark Corallo depart Trump’s legal team”: “Marc Kasowitz is out as Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports. And Kasowitz’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, has resigned, Garrett says. The reasons for the moves were not immediately known. Kasowitz has represented Mr. Trump since the early 2000s, and led his defense in the Trump University fraud case.” http://cbsn.ws/2tNieYw

FOR YOUR RADAR — “U.S. general says allies worry Russian war game may be ‘Trojan horse’,” by Reuters’ Andrea Shalal in Berlin: “U.S. allies in eastern Europe and Ukraine are worried that Russia’s planned war games in September could be a ‘Trojan horse’ aimed at leaving behind military equipment brought into Belarus, the U.S. Army’s top general in Europe said on Thursday. Russia has sought to reassure NATO that the military exercises will respect international limits on size, but NATO and U.S. official remain wary about their scale and scope.” http://reut.rs/2uPfOO2

SENATE WATCH — “Under fire for opposing health bill, Mike Lee hits back,” by Burgess Everett and Jen Haberkorn: “Mike Lee hears the chorus of critics, with blame from the establishment wing of the GOP cascading on the Utah senator for being the Republican that stopped Obamacare repeal. And he’s ready to respond. In an interview in his Capitol Hill office Thursday, Lee said he was willing to be the lone senator to bring down his party’s health care bill because it did not do much to stop Obamacare in its tracks. ‘I’m not being an absolutist,’ he said, adding that he didn’t need 100 percent of the law to be repealed. ‘I’m a little frustrated by some who are eager and willing to call me out for saying this doesn’t go far enough in doing what we promised to do for seven years.’

“A second-term conservative senator from the party’s libertarian-leaning wing, Lee has always been somewhat of an outlier in the conference. But he’s not going to keep quiet as the criticism flies his way. A cohort of Republicans from the center-right are bearing down on Lee as the main cause of the GOP’s recent dysfunction — even though Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) jumped with Lee on Monday in coming out against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to repeal and replace the health law.” http://politi.co/2uHYRUK

— “McCain’s absence leaves big hole in Senate,” by John Bresnahan and Seung Min Kim: “McCain’s sudden departure leaves a giant hole in the middle of Republican conference. On defense and foreign policy issues, McCain is among the loudest GOP voices, largely based on his own experience as a Vietnam War hero and prisoner of war. A hawkish interventionist utterly convinced of America’s undisputed place as the world’s leader, McCain has pushed to expand the U.S.’s presence overseas, not withdraw from it, which often put him in collision with the Trumpian-Bannon worldview.

“From Syria to ISIS to Iran to North Korea, McCain has pushed for hardline U.S. policies, including military strikes if necessary. On other controversial topics — Trump’s behavior, immigration, treatment of terrorism detainees, torture — McCain has been one of the few Republicans willing to speak out. Due to his own stature, McCain has been able to say what others Republicans can’t or won’t.” http://politi.co/2uNDzGd

NYT’S CARL HULSE: “The circumstances are eerily similar. In the middle of contentious health care deliberations, a larger-than-life figure in the Senate learns he has a very serious form of brain cancer. A leading voice goes quiet and the Senate suffers for it. Such was the case in 2008 when Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, learned he had brain cancer and again this week when it was announced that John McCain, Republican of Arizona, had the exact condition that claimed his colleague — a man who shared Mr. McCain’s zest for a good argument and for cutting a deal.” http://nyti.ms/2tMldQU

— @chrisjohnson82: “.@kwelkernbc asks Sarah Sanders if POTUS regrets denying McCain is a war hero. Reply: ‘I’m not sure about that,’ adds POTUS has well wishes.”

TRUMP INC. — BUZZFEED’S JEREMY SINGER-VINE, JESSICA GARRISON and KEN BENSINGER: “Mar-A-Lago, Donald Trump’s private club that he calls the Winter White House, is asking the government for permission to hire 70 temporary foreign workers as cooks, servers, and housekeepers, according to records posted by the Department of Labor on Thursday. The nearby Trump National Golf Club, Jupiter, has requested permission to hire an additional six foreign cooks.

“Trump has frequently urged US companies to hire American workers — a theme highlighted this week in what the Trump administration has dubbed ‘Made in America’ week. But for his own Mar-A-Lago club, he has also defended hiring foreign workers by saying that it is ‘very, very hard to get help’ during the Florida tourist season.” http://bzfd.it/2uG2gny

HMM — “Interior Dept. ordered Glacier park chief, other climate expert pulled from Zuckerberg tour,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein: “Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg flew to Glacier National Park on Saturday to tour the melting ice fields that have become the poster child for climate change’s effects on Montana’s northern Rockies. But days before the tech tycoon’s visit, the Trump administration abruptly removed two of the park’s top climate experts from a delegation scheduled to show him around, telling a research ecologist and the park superintendent that they were no longer going to participate in the tour. … It capped days of internal discussions — including conference calls and multiple emails — among top Interior Department and Park Service officials about how much the park should roll out the welcome mat for Zuckerberg, who with the broader tech community in Silicon Valley has positioned himself as a vocal critic of President Trump, particularly of his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.” http://wapo.st/2tlBzR5

BIG DEAL — “Israel limits Muslim access to Jerusalem site amid tensions,” by AP’s Ian Deitch and Mohammed Daraghmeh in Jerusalem: “Israel banned Muslim men under the age of 50 from a contested Jerusalem shrine Friday and deployed about 3,000 police nearby, ahead of expected Muslim protests over the installation of metal detectors at the holy site. The age restrictions and police deployment came hours after Israel’s security Cabinet decided not to overrule an earlier police decision to install metal detectors at the gates to the walled compound. The volatile Jerusalem shrine, revered by Muslims and Jews, sits at the center of rival Israeli and Palestinian national narratives and has triggered major confrontations in the past.” http://bit.ly/2tlEgCj

THE JUICE …

— SPOTTED LAST NIGHT AT TRUMP HOTEL: Lara Trump celebrating Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson’s birthday with several former other campaign staffers and Trump loyalists, including Kelly Love, Victoria Barton, Scott Mason and Tommy Hicks.

— THE DOUGH: THE RNC raised $13 million in June. PAUL SINGER gave $71,100 to the NRCC.

WHAT BEN CARSON IS SAYING THESE DAYS – per the Washington Examiner’s Sarah Westwood and Al Weaver: “‘Let me put it this way,’ Carson told the Washington Examiner in an interview on Wednesday, ‘I’m glad that Trump is drawing all the fire so I can get stuff done.’” http://washex.am/2uI4x15

PAUL RYAN on TAX REFORM, per the Boston Globe’s Jim O’Sullivan: “‘As Republicans, we are wired the same way on tax reform,’ Ryan told reporters. ‘Obviously, we’ve seen in the Senate there are a difference of opinions on how to do health care reform. We are so much more unified on tax reform, on what it looks like, and how to do it, and the need to do it.’ …

“[R]yan waved off ‘the cynical talk in Washington,’ arguing, ‘Despite everything we’ve seen in Washington, don’t fall for it.’” http://bit.ly/2gPwwql

MAIN JUSTICE — “Sessions won’t resign for now, but gets Trump’s message,” by Josh Gerstein, Josh Dawsey and Eliana Johnson: A “senior administration official said Trump has rarely spoken to Sessions in recent months and had no immediate plan to see him — and added that Sessions is not as often in the West Wing huddling with Trump or other top aides, like Stephen Miller, who worked for Sessions in the Senate before joining the Trump campaign. Sessions still talks to Miller, chief White House lawyer Don McGahn and Rick Dearborn, a longtime Senate aide who joined the administration. Having the tensions with the president of the United States spill out in public as they did Wednesday created the prospect of a zombie attorney general—going through the motions of the office, while lacking any real connection to or support from the president and the White House. …

“One former official said Trump’s effort to undercut Sessions may have actually strengthened his hand in the department. ‘Actually, I believe that Sessions determination to stay on as attorney general in the face of Trump’s criticisms has likely enhanced his reputation within the Department of Justice,’ said former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger. ‘This is a strange world in which criticism by this particular president is not damaging.’” http://politi.co/2vqBk8M

— @SariHorwitz: “Fun fact: Sessions arrives at DOJ every day at 6 a.m., heats a bowl of oatmeal in a microwave & works out on a treadmill before 1st meeting.”

— Rick Dearborn’s wife Gina posted this picture and message on Facebook yesterday “THE MAN with the man. What a privilege to have the U.S. Attorney General in our home for dinner. We are lucky to call him friend and the country is lucky to have him as AG. Missed Mary Sessions.” Rick worked for Sessions in the Senate. Pic http://bit.ly/2gPoIEW

FIGHT! — “U.S. and Exxon Spar Over Russia Sanctions Violation: Treasury cites energy giant’s dealings with Russian oil executive in notice for $2 million fine; the company says it will challenge findings,” by WSJ’s Samuel Rubenfeld, Lynn Cook and Ian Talley: “The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday imposed a $2 million fine on Exxon Mobil Corp. for what it called a ‘reckless disregard’ of U.S. sanctions on Russia while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil giant’s chief executive, a finding the company immediately said it would challenge.

“Exxon, under Mr. Tillerson, in early 2014 deepened the company’s longstanding partnership with the Kremlin despite Washington levying sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine. In May of that year, the Treasury Department said the company signed eight documents relating to oil and gas projects in Russia that were also signed by Igor Sechin, chief executive of the state oil giant PAO Rosneft. The Treasury said Thursday those deals violated U.S. sanctions against Mr. Sechin, a former Russian intelligence officer and ally to President Vladimir Putin.” http://on.wsj.com/2uG4enX

BLAST FROM THE PAST — “O.J.’s last defender — F. Lee Bailey — is broke, disbarred and working above a hair salon,” by WaPo’s Michael Rosenwald: “Johnnie Cochran is dead. Marcia Clark writes murder mysteries. Judge Lance Ito is retired. Kato Kaelin tweets a lot. And F. Lee Bailey, the famed criminal defense attorney, is flat broke…. Last year, Bailey filed for bankruptcy after a string of scandals inside and outside the courtroom left him disbarred and shamed. He was accused of misappropriating funds from his defense of an alleged drug dealer.” http://wapo.st/2uPcK4D

POLITICO MAGAZINE’s “WHAT WORKS”: “How San Francisco Saved Its Public Housing By Getting Rid of It,” by Ethan Epstein. http://politi.co/2tvYyNk

****** A message from the National Retail Federation: The overwhelming majority of retailers are small businesses, with more than 98% of all retail companies employing fewer than 50 people. While small in size, their voices are loud and clear when fighting to be heard on decisions and policies that impact their businesses and the customers they serve every day. Hear more industry stories on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. ******

MEDIAWATCH — “Fox News turns to Hillary Clinton amid negative news for Trump,” by CNN’s Oliver Darcy: “As a cloud of negative news hangs over President Donald Trump and his administration, a familiar face has been all over the airwaves on Fox News: Hillary Clinton. The former Democratic presidential candidate, a favorite villain of the right, has been featured prominently across Fox News’ programming this week. In many cases, instead of the network’s hosts applying pressure to the current President, who is grappling with the fallout from a federal investigation related to Russian election meddling, Fox News’ personalities have deflected and turned their attention to Clinton.” http://cnnmon.ie/2vqAXuU

— “Is Everyone in Politics Writing a Tell-all? Yes,” by Concepcion De Leon in the NYT — featuring details about what to expect from upcoming books from Hillary Clinton Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, John Kerry, David Litt, Jeremy Bernard and Lea Berman, Arne Duncan, Pete Souza, Amanda Lucidon, Beck Dorey-Stein, Pat Cunnane, James Clapper, Corey Lewandowski, Donna Brazile, Ivana Trump, Katy Tur, Amy Chozick, Laura Ingraham, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Edward Klein, Keith Olbermann, Ben Bradlee Jr., E.J. Dionne, Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann, James Poniewozik, Kayleigh McEnany, Naomi Klein, David Frum: http://nyti.ms/2uFsh6k

– NEW PODCAST from The Atlantic: “Today The Atlantic premieres ‘Radio Atlantic,’ the flagship show on its new podcast platform. Co-hosted by editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, executive editor Matt Thompson, and contributing editor Alex Wagner, the new weekly show will draw upon The Atlantic’s 160 years of history, combined with the perspective of today’s sharpest journalists, to interpret the news as it happens. Each episode will hone in on a theme and incorporate a revolving cast of voices from The Atlantic’s masthead and beyond.” http://theatln.tc/2vHxE1K

HOLLYWOOLDLAND – “She’s Back?! Nikki Finke Poised to Return to Deadline Hollywood as Columnist,” by TheWrap’s Tony Maglio and Matt Donnelly: “Nikki Finke is poised to return to Deadline Hollywood as a columnist as soon as September, TheWrap has learned exclusively. Over the last few weeks, Finke has been telling executives around Hollywood that she is coming back to the entertainment trade website that she founded in March 2006 and from which she was notoriously fired in 2013.” http://bit.ly/2tvQfRC

SPOTTED: Angus King on the American flight from DCA to Portland Thursday night … EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in first class on the last Delta flight from Atlanta to DCA. A tipster writes: “A woman sitting behind him gave him a respectful earful of her opinion about him and the Trump administration’s environmental policy. He responded with a polite smile, small talk and thank you.”

OUT AND ABOUT — SPOTTED last night at the Newseum for the launch of Alisyn Camerota’s book, “Amanda Wakes Up”: party hosts Dana Bash, Juleanna Glover, Tammy Haddad, Daniella Landau, Megan Murphy, Ana Navarro and Hilary Rosen, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and his son, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Valerie Jarrett, Chris Cillizza, Steve Hilton, Carol Melton, Tom Forrest, Carl Hulse, Katie Hinson, Rachel Pearson, Rob Flynn, Robin Goldman, Gloria Borger, Victoria Espinel, David Chalian, David Gelles, Betsy Klein, Kevin Cirilli, Ashley Killough, Laura Jarrett, Craig Gordon, Jeff Zeleny, Robert Draper and Kirsten Powers, Kate Bennett, Katie Hinman, Lauren Pratapas, Jackie Kucinich, Proceeds from the book go to the Committee to Protect Journalists — $17.68 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2vqB3Tr

SPOTTED at Targeted Victory’s party last night at Stanton & Greene celebrating Alex Schriver and Alberto Martinez: Lenny Alcivar, Zac Moffatt, Ryan Meerstein, Abe Adams, Connie Partoyan, Chris Hansen, Molly Donilon, Brendon DelToro, Billy McBeath, Zeke Miller, Jonathan Swan, Eli Yokley, Daniel Kroese, Chad Carlough, Ben Falkowski, Megan Cummings, Matt Hoekstra, Billy Godoy, Amos Snead, Gina Rigby, Warren Tryon, Matt Weinstein, Mike House, Dean Hingson, Sam Marchio, Fritz Brogan, Rosario Palmieri, Alex Burgos.

— MIKE MEMOLI celebrated his move from the L.A. Times to NBC last night. SPOTTED: Nick Kalman, Zeke Miller, Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Abby Livingston, Hallie Jackson, Scott Mulhauser, Sasha Issenberg, Liz Allen and Ben Finkenbinder.

— Columbia Books and Information Services and the Almanac of American Politics hosted a dinner at the University Club last night honoring Bridget Kendall, ex-BBC Washington correspondent and first Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge College. SPOTTED: Rich Cohen, Paul Kane, Michael Barone, Charlie Mahtesian, Lou Jacobson, Aaron Zitner, Matthew Barnes, Bob Merry and Joel Poznansky.

TRANSITIONS – TOM LOPACH, former executive director of the DSCC most recently at Subject Matter, is moving back to Helena, Montana, to be the chief of staff to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. http://bit.ly/2vqCZLq Smoot Tewes Group has added three new partners and a new CFO. Dan Kanninen, Shoren Brown, and Aaron Wells are joining co-founders Julianna Smoot and Paul Tewes as partners in the firm, and Sabrina Neal has been named the firm’s CFO. http://bit.ly/2twajUb

SUNDAY SO FAR — “Fox News Sunday”: Sen. John Thune (R-SD). Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Julie Pace, Gillian Turner, Juan Williams

— CBS’ “Face the Nation”: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) … Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) Political panel: Dan Balz, Jamelle Bouie, Megan McArdle, and Amy Walter

— ABC’s “This Week”: Eric Bolling, Joshua Green, Sara Fagen, Maggie Haberman, Roland Martin

— NBC’s “Meet the Press” is not on due to The Open Championship

— CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) … Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). Panel: Mary Katharine Ham, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), Karine Jean-Pierre

— CNN’s “Inside Politics”: Michael Shear, Molly Ball, Nia-Malika Henderson, Julie Hirschfeld Davis

WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Aaron Renn, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and a contributing editor at its quarterly magazine City Journal, and Katy J. Renn, former executive director of Renew Indianapolis, the land bank of the city of Indianapolis, email friends and family: “Alexander Marcus Renn (aka AMR2) was born [Wednesday] @ 3:29 p.m., 7lbs 8oz. Katy and baby are doing great. Baby Alex was apparently in a hurry to get here, as he was born exactly nine months and one day after Katy and I were married.” Pic http://politi.co/2uI7wqn

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Nation multimedia editor Frank Reynolds, who celebrated with the publication of a new animated short that juxtaposes life under social democracy vs. free market capitalism: “People in Denmark Are a Lot Happier Than People in the United States. Here’s Why”: http://bit.ly/2uPoKTA (hat tip: Caitlin Graf)

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Mark Preston, executive director of CNN political programming and senior political analyst. How he’s celebrating: “Breaking News: I don’t enjoy celebrating my birthday (For those who know me, this shouldn’t be a surprise). But my children enjoy a good birthday party, ice cream and chocolate cake – so I will be ‘celebrating’ this historic day with my family on a little island just off the East Coast … far, far away from DC.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2gP8Zpx

BIRTHDAYS: OMB director Mick Mulvaney is 5-0 (hat tip: Sean Spicer) … Bob Shrum … Google’s Ali-jae Henke … CT Gov. Dan Malloy … Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), EPW and RPC Chairman (h/t Arjun Mody) … Michelle Young … Ford Motor Company’s Christin Tinsworth Baker … Billy Schuette … Steve Lerch … Nancy LeaMond of AARP (hat tip: son Colin) … Blaire Luciano Constable … Dale “Duke” Schuurman … Gary Crider … Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) … Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) … Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) … former Rep. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.) … John Negroponte … CNN’s Teddy Davis … Rachel Davis … Obama WH alum Jessica Menter … Stacey Moreau Tank, chief comms officer at Home Depot … Phyllis Rubin … Dave Noble … Pip Deely … Fox News’ Peter Doocy … Amanda K. Ruisi … Garrett Ventry of CRC Public Relations … Katie Gillen in Rep. Julia Brownley’s office (h/t Sam Greene) … Michael Sessums, managing director for public affairs and crisis at Burson-Marsteller, former Foreign Service officer, the pride of Tampa, and a huge Nats fan (h/t Ben Chang) …

… Jahan Wilcox, strategic comms adviser at EPA (h/ts Colin Reed and Caitlin Conant) … Jen Corey Baca (h/ts Joshua Baca and Patrick Garrigan) … Matt Tully … Ron Colburn … Otto Heck … Adam Kroczaleski, who works in Rep. John Moolenaar’s Midland, Mich. office (h/t Aaron Baylis) … Amanda Carey … Jen Bluestein … Doug Mellgren … Amanda Elliott … Democratic operative Greg Richardson … Patty Morneault Richter … Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council … Theresa Vawter … Gen. Dick Tubb … Carrie Simms … Travis Thomas … Wendy Wilkinson … Meaghan Wolff … David Stacy … Lisa Neubauer (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

****** A message from the National Retail Federation: The overwhelming majority of retailers are small businesses, with more than 98% of all retail companies employing fewer than 50 people. While small in size, their voices are loud and clear when fighting to be heard on decisions and policies that impact their businesses and the customers they serve every day. Hear more industry stories on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. ******

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