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Yellen debrief

<b>YELLEN DEBRIEF</b> — MM’s takeaways from Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference on Wednesday were that the Fed thinks the economy is doing well, it doesn’t understand what’s going on with inflation right now, and it won’t prematurely stop winding down its massive asset holdings (once it starts next …

Economy

Poll: Trump sees slight uptick in approval rating

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is on the upswing in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday, matching a trend from other polls that also show the president’s poll numbers inching upward.<p>Forty-three percent of those polled by NBC and the Journal said they either strongly …

Elections

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW on the healthcare front -- TRUMP refuses to tell Theresa May whether he’s going to pull out of the Iran deal -- THE MUELLER STORIES -- AMERICANS shrug at tax reform -- B’DAY: Brianna Keilar

Driving the Day<p><b>Good Thursday morning. THE BIG STORY -- BURGESS EVERETT</b> and <b>SEUNG MIN KIM: “Senate girds for final Obamacare repeal vote:</b> The majority leader’s office does leave some wiggle room, however”: “It’s still anyone’s guess whether the bill’s backers can get to 50 votes. One Republican …

Donald Trump

North Korean minister calls Trump’s threat ‘sound of dog barking’

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s foreign minister has described as “the sound of a dog barking” President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy his country.<p>The comments are the North’s first response to Trump’s debut speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, during which he vowed to “totally …

North Korea

Jim Acosta Is the White House’s Favorite Reporter

The CNN correspondent has embraced the role of White House antagonist, which makes his boss happy. But the White House loves the matchup, too.<p>As he walked to work down Pennsylvania Avenue, Jim Acosta, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, was wondering if today would be the day he busted out of …

Donald Trump

Trump hires campaign workers instead of farm experts at USDA

Truck driver, landscaper among political appointees at agency headquarters.<p>President Donald Trump’s appointees to jobs at Agriculture Department headquarters include a long-haul truck driver, a country club cabana attendant and the owner of a scented-candle company.<p>A POLITICO review of dozens of …

Government

The unlikely group who brought Obamacare repeal back to life

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Bill Cassidy crafted the bill, while Lindsey Graham played the role of salesman.<p>Senate Republicans’ last-ditch attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare rests on the unlikely collaboration of a veteran senator who can’t stand health policy, a wonky freshman …

Rick Santorum

Kimmel fires back at Cassidy over Obamacare repeal bill

Jimmy Kimmel escalated his war of words with Sen. Bill Cassidy over his proposed Obamacare repeal bill Wednesday night, blasting the lawmaker for “defending the indefensible” and continuing to support a measure he said was “by many accounts the worst health-care bill yet.”<p>Kimmel torched Cassidy for …

Health Care

Tillerson says he doesn't know Trump's final decision on Iran Deal

Cuomo calls the federal government 'ignorant' on climate change

Climate Change

SEC discloses cybersecurity breach

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday said its “EDGAR” public-company filing system had been hacked.<p>SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement that last month "the Commission learned that an incident previously detected in 2016 may have provided the basis for illicit gain through …

Cybersecurity

45 After Dark: Careful Approach edition

The Senate is ready to do it one more time. President Donald Trump is cheering them on.<p>With a number of undecided senators still hemming and hawing, Senate Republican leadership announced today it would hold a vote next week on the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal Obamacare. Like last time, the …

Donald Trump

Sovereignty is not a dirty word

To listen to the commentary, Donald Trump used an inappropriate term at the U.N. — not just Rocket Man, but “sovereignty.”<p>It wasn’t surprising that liberal analysts freaked out over his nickname for Kim Jong Un and his warning that, should it be necessary, we’d “totally destroy” his country. These …

United States

Did Trump Just Do 'Rocket Man' a Favor?

When President George H. W. Bush was staring down Saddam Hussein after the Iraq dictator’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the former diplomat spoke in grand terms about international order and rule of law.<p>But Bush also made the conflict personal. In public speeches, he referred to the Iraqi tyrant …

North Korea

Preet Bharara joins CNN as senior legal analyst

Preet Bharara, whom President Donald Trump fired as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is joining CNN as a Senior Legal Analyst, POLITICO has learned.<p>Bharara was known for his media savvy on the job in Manhattan, and since leaving office in March has amassed nearly 440,000 Twitter …

Preet Bharara

Senate Republicans declare independence on tax reform

Senate Republicans are making it clear they’re not going to fall in line behind President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan, despite a months-long effort with House leaders and top administration officials to have a smooth rollout for a major overhaul.<p>The proposal by the "Big Six" will only be …

Orrin Hatch

What you missed today in Trump's White House

The White House

Manafort used Trump campaign account to email Ukrainian operative

Manafort sent the emails to seek repayment for previous work he did in Ukraine.<p>Former Donald Trump aide Paul Manafort used his presidential campaign email account to correspond with a Ukrainian political operative with suspected Russian ties, according to people familiar with the …

Paul Manafort

Judge inches toward demand for data on Trump inaugural protest website

A judge is pressing forward with plans to allow enforcement of a search warrant against a website used to organize protests against President Donald Trump's inauguration last January.<p>However, D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin is insisting that prosecutors won't be able to see messages …

Donald Trump

Rand Paul: Don’t blow up Iran deal

Sen. Rand Paul, who opposed the nuclear deal with Iran two years ago, wants the United States to stay in the agreement — even as President Donald Trump sends clues that he is preparing to derail it.<p>In an interview Wednesday, the Kentucky Republican said he believes evidence shows that Iran has been …

Rand Paul

Trump offers U.S. assistance to Mexico after earthquake

President Donald Trump offered U.S. assistance to Mexico during a phone call Wednesday with President Enrique Peña Nieto, after that country was rattled Tuesday by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200 people.<p>Trump spoke with Peña Nieto “to extend his condolences for the lives lost …

Donald Trump

Left on ‘full war footing’ to stop Obamacare repeal

Liberal activists have quickly mobilized ahead of a Senate vote next week.<p>The liberal activists roused into the streets by President Donald Trump are revving up for one last campaign to save Obamacare.<p>The sudden resurgence of Republicans’ repeal push appeared to catch Democrats and their base by …

Health Care

The Strange Authenticity of Hillary Clinton

Read her book, and you realize she might have been the most authentic candidate out there—and maybe that was the problem.<p>By now, you know the news nuggets from Hillary Clinton’s new campaign memoir, <i>What Happened</i>. You know that she blames herself for the most shocking upset in American political …

Hillary Clinton

Tom Price’s private-jet travel

POLITICO Health Care Reporter Dan Diamond discuss his reporting on the use of private charter jet travel last week for Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, including a round-trip flight to Philadelphia with Kellyanne Conway.

Tom Price

Twitter a growing focus of Senate Russia probe

Of particular interest is the prominence of bots on Twitter, and what role they may have played in making misleading campaign season tweets go viral.<p>The Senate's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is about to turn its sights on Twitter.<p>The company has agreed to meet with …

Social Media

The timeline of Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Cassidy's spat on Obamacare repeal

On Tuesday night, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel ripped Sen. Bill Cassidy's new Obamacare repeal bill. The senator told CNN Wednesday morning that he was 'sorry' Kimmel 'does not understand' the bill.

Bill Cassidy

Obama calls constant GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare 'aggravating'

NEW YORK — The post-presidency by subtweet continues.<p>As President Donald Trump attended sessions at the United Nations, former President Barack Obama stood in the theater of the Time Warner Center across town on Wednesday afternoon, urging people who share his worldview not to give up building an …

Universal Health Care

Christie says he opposes Graham-Cassidy bill

SOMERSET — Gov. Chris Christie said on Wednesday that he opposes the latest Senate plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, deeming it “too injurious” to New Jersey.<p>“I oppose Graham-Cassidy because it is too injurious to the people of New Jersey,” Christie told reporters standing outside an addiction …

ObamaCare

Federal Reserve bullish on U.S. economic growth

In a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will start next month to pull back some of the massive support it has provided since the financial crisis, allowing some of its more than $4 trillion in assets to mature without being replaced.<p>Central bank …

Economy

Berkeley 'Free Speech Week' with Bannon will be costly, university president says

University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that the so-called Free Speech Week planned at Berkeley this month that will feature former White House strategist Steve Bannon will be an expensive test for the school that has become the center of debate over free speech on …

Democrats