POLITICO Playbook PM: What is Trump talking about?

WHAT IS TRUMP TALKING ABOUT? … THE PRESIDENT tweeted at 9:10 a.m.: “So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it. Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were ‘hardliners’, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!”

— WE DON’T HAVE TRUMP’S CALL LOGS, but senior Democratic aides say there has been no contact between Speaker NANCY PELOSI or Senate Minority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER or their staffs and the White House.

— THE WHITE HOUSE didn’t seem to have an idea what was going on. One source in the White House pointed out that neither MARK MEADOWS nor JARED KUSHNER are in the building today.

— MAYBE THIS IS PURPOSEFUL? … TRUMP could be setting up a construct that he is willing, ready and able to talk, and it’s PELOSI and SCHUMER who won’t talk to him.

— BUT PROBABLY NOT … HE MAY JUST BE RIFFING without any discernible strategy, which seems to be the most likely analysis.

MARIANNE LEVINE and JOHN BRESNAHAN: “Talks remain stalled after Trump’s moves on coronavirus relief”

IT’S KIND OF AMAZING that Democrats aren’t in Washington hammering away at what they believe is an inadequate Covid response from the TRUMP administration. They’d own the airwaves — nothing else is going on.

OK, THEN! … ASBURY PARK PRESS: “Trump to Long Branch fundraiser crowd: ‘A deal with Iran within four weeks’ if re-elected,” by Mike Davis and Amanda Oglesby: “President Donald Trump told supporters at a campaign fundraising event here Sunday that his administration ‘would have a deal with Iran within four weeks’ if he is re-elected in November, according to a video of his remarks.”

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-Ark.) reported on his financial disclosure that he earned $252,500 in royalties from HarperCollins last year. He wrote a book called “Sacred Duty” about serving at Arlington National Cemetery.

Good Monday afternoon.

SPORTS BLINK — “Sources: Big Ten votes to cancel football season; no games for Michigan, Michigan State in 2020,” by Detroit Free Press’ Orion Sang, David Jesse, Chris Solari and Chris Thomas: “See you later, college football. The Big Ten has voted to cancel the 2020 college football season in a historic move that stems from concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple people with knowledge of the decision confirmed to the Free Press. The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the decision. A formal announcement is expected to [come] Tuesday, the sources said.” Freep

BALTIMORE SUN: “‘Major explosion’ in Northwest Baltimore kills one, traps others among leveled homes, firefighters union says,” by Lillian Reed

‘DICKENSIANLY BLEAK’ — “Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing,” by Stat’s Helen Branswell: “Winter means cold and flu season, which is all but sure to complicate the task of figuring out who is sick with Covid-19 and who is suffering from a less threatening respiratory tract infection. It also means that cherished outdoor freedoms that link us to pre-Covid life — pop-up restaurant patios, picnics in parks, trips to the beach — will soon be out of reach, at least in northern parts of the country.” Stat

PAGING SARAH PALIN — “Trump administration steps in as advocacy groups warn of Covid ‘death panels,’” by Susannah Luthi: “State policies for rationing health care during the coronavirus pandemic could allow doctors to cut off treatment for some of the sickest patients in hot zones and revive the specter of so-called death panels, say disabled rights groups who are urging the Trump administration to intervene.

“The effort has recently gained urgency due to guidelines in Texas and Arizona that let doctors base treatment decisions on factors like a patient’s quality of life if they survive, or the odds they’ll live at least five years. … The administration’s point person is Roger Severino, an anti-abortion conservative who heads the civil rights office and has expressed concern about the way health providers measure disabled patients’ odds of survival.” POLITICO

— WSJ: “Hospitals’ Covid-19 Policies Face Religious-Rights Checks by Trump Administration,” by Stephanie Armour: “One of the interventions involved a medical student who objected on religious grounds that he be required to shave his beard so he could wear a protective mask. Another involved a hospital’s refusal under its no-visitors rule during the pandemic to allow a bedside visit by a priest. … The [HHS civil rights] office cites laws it says give it authority to intervene in religious-discrimination claims when health organizations get federal money.”

ON THE GROUND IN WUHAN … NBC: “Inside the Chinese lab central to the search for the coronavirus’ origin,” by Janis Mackey Frayer and Denise Chow: “On Friday, NBC News became the first foreign news organization to be granted access to the institute since the outbreak began, meeting with senior scientists working to pinpoint the origins of the virus. The Wuhan institute and its scientists have become the focus of intense speculation and conspiracy theories — some emanating from the White House — about China’s alleged efforts to downplay the outbreak’s severity and whether the virus leaked from the facility.

“During the roughly five-hour visit, which included a tour of the BSL-4 lab, where technicians clad in bubblelike protective suits handled small vials and other equipment while sealed inside a thick-walled glass enclosure, Wang Yanyi, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said she and others felt unfairly targeted. She urged that politics not cloud investigations into how the coronavirus spilled over into humans.” NBC

KNOWING STEPHEN HAHN — “Stephen Hahn, F.D.A. Chief, Is Caught Between Scientists and the President,” by NYT’s Sheila Kaplan: “Unlike Dr. Anthony S. Fauci or Dr. Francis S. Collins, leaders at the National Institutes of Health who have decades of experience operating under Republican and Democratic administrations, Dr. Hahn was a Washington outsider.

“Many medical experts — including members of his own staff — worry about whether Dr. Hahn, despite his good intentions, has the fortitude and political savvy to protect the scientific integrity of the F.D.A. from the president. Critics point to a series of worrisome responses to the coronavirus epidemic under Dr. Hahn’s leadership … A wine aficionado who studies Italian (his rescue dog is named Baci), Dr. Hahn is known for being affable, perhaps to a fault.” NYT

HMM — “Kodak’s federal loan in doubt after agency cites ‘serious concerns,’” by Zachary Warmbrodt: “A planned $765 million federal government loan to support pharmaceutical production by Eastman Kodak is on hold after the agency reviewing the potential deal said it wanted to address ‘recent allegations of wrongdoing.’

“In a post on Twitter, the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. said the unspecified allegations ‘raise serious concerns.’ The statement followed controversy about stock transactions involving senior leaders at the company before the agency on July 28 announced a ‘letter of interest’ for the loan. The government financing also drew scrutiny because of the company’s previous focus on photography.” POLITICO

PANDEMIC FALLOUT — “Many couples are putting pregnancy plans on hold because of the pandemic,” by CBS’ Kate Smith: “About a third of women say they’re delaying pregnancy or want fewer children because of the pandemic, according to a recent study published by the Guttmacher Institute. It’s a shift in sentiment that could trigger a staggering 500,000 fewer births in the U.S. as soon as next year, a potential 13% decline, according to a recent Brookings Institution study. …

“Nearly half of Hispanic women and 44% of Black women said they planned to have children later or have fewer children, while just 28% of White women expressed the same preference.” CBS

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “Aftermath of looting in downtown Chicago: 13 cops injured, 2 people shot, more than 100 arrests, Mag Mile trashed,” by Paige Fry, Jeremy Gorner, Gregory Pratt, Megan Crepeau and Stacy St. Clair: “It took police officers roughly four hours to get the downtown back under control, leading to finger pointing across the political spectrum and calls for the Illinois National Guard to once again help quell unrest in the country’s third-largest city. …

“City officials said the seeds for the violent crime spree were sown on social media Sunday afternoon following an officer involved shooting in the Englewood neighborhood.”

BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN: “Ron Johnson subpoenas documents from FBI director”: “The subpoena, which POLITICO reviewed, demands documents but not testimony. Specifically, it asks for ‘all documents related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation’ — the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. …

“It’s an unusual move, given that President Donald Trump appointed Wray to his post helming the FBI.” POLITICOThe subpoena Johnson’s letter

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — “EPA to Rescind Methane Regulations for Oil and Gas,” by WSJ’s Timothy Puko: “The rule changes will apply to wells drilled since 2016 and going forward, and remove the largest pipelines, storage sites and other parts of the transmission system from EPA oversight of smog and greenhouse-gas emissions. The changes also ease reporting requirements for the industry and, for some facilities, how often a plant must check for leaks of other pollutants …

“The Obama administration didn’t go through the proper scientific and legal process required to justify the 2016 rules by first determining that the oil and natural-gas industry’s greenhouse-gas emissions, primarily methane, cause or contribute to dangerous air pollution, the EPA says in the new rules … That determination would make it harder for a new administration to reclaim that authority without a congressional mandate.” WSJ

VALLEY TALK — “The man Google loves to hate,” by Leah Nylen: “Jim Hood antagonized Google for nine years as Mississippi’s attorney general, going after the internet giant for enabling the sale of illegal drugs, allowing pirated content to flourish online and serving up targeted ads to children. And Google fought back: Hood holds the title of the only U.S. public official the company has ever sued.

“Now Hood has returned for more. Earlier this year, he signed on as a consultant to the massive, multistate investigation into the company’s dominance online. Forty-eight states, D.C. and Puerto Rico are expected to file an antitrust suit against the company this fall — one that, paired with a federal antitrust probe, represents the biggest regulatory threat to Google’s business yet. …

“The states’ decision to bring on Hood, who stepped down in January following an unsuccessful bid for governor, suggests they are expecting a drawn-out legal battle that will require persistence, and maybe a bit of an attack dog.”

WHO’S GOT BIDEN’S EAR — “Big Tech Makes Inroads With the Biden Campaign,” by NYT’s David McCabe and Ken Vogel: “[H]is campaign has quietly welcomed onto its staff and policy groups people who have worked with or for Silicon Valley giants, raising concerns among the industry’s critics that the companies are seeking to co-opt a potential Biden administration.

“One of Mr. Biden’s closest aides joined the campaign from Apple, while others held senior roles at firms that consulted for major tech companies.” NYT

— NEW ON THE BIDEN CAMPAIGN … ROSEMARY BOEGLIN is now a rapid response spokesperson for the BIDEN campaign. She’s a BERNIE SANDERS campaign alum.

HUFFPOST: “Progressive Groups Prepare To Reshape The Courts Under A Biden Presidency,” by Jennifer Bendery and Amanda Terkel: “HuffPost spoke with more than half a dozen organizations that acknowledged they’re already planning for how to reshape the courts under a potential Biden presidency. Many were reluctant to talk about lists of specific names they’re compiling, although they admitted it’s happening.” HuffPost

WISCONSIN DISPATCH — “How Suffering Farmers May Determine Trump’s Fate,” by Dan Kaufman in The New Yorker: “As rural Wisconsin’s fortunes have declined, its political importance has grown.”

— REUTERS: “U.S. farmers leave fields fallow as COVID-19 wrecks crop prospects,” by Mark Weinraub in Chicago: “Farmers routinely make changes to their acreage intentions as the calendar advances, substituting in different crops if the weather mucks up their original plans. But leaving the ground bare is new territory for U.S. farmers who typically plant fencerow to fencerow, trying to squeeze profit out of every available acre.” Reuters

BEYOND THE BELTWAY — “Jared Polis is taking big money from private donors to fund key positions in Colorado governor’s office,” by The Colorado Sun’s John Frank: “The Democratic governor is accepting more than $1 million from donors, nonprofits and foundations to pay salaries and costs associated with six top policy positions, according to a review of financial records and other documents by The Colorado Sun in partnership with CBS4 Denver.”

MEGATREND — “Extreme poverty rises and a generation sees future slip away,” by AP’s Elias Meseret and Cara Anna with an Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, dateline: “Decades of progress in one of modern history’s greatest achievements, the fight against extreme poverty, are in danger of slipping away because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world could see its first increase in extreme poverty in 22 years, further sharpening social inequities. …

“With the virus and its restrictions, up to 100 million more people globally could fall into the bitter existence of living on just $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank. That’s ‘well below any reasonable conception of a life with dignity,’ the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty wrote this year. And it comes on top of the 736 million people already there, half of them in just five countries: Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Congo and Bangladesh.” AP

MEDIAWATCH — “‘There’s no antagonist’: News outlets mull the possible end of their editorial and business-side ‘Trump Bump’ bonanza,” by Steven Perlberg in Digiday: “Redefining yourself for the Trump era makes for good business. Ask the Times, CNN, MSNBC, or the Washington Post. Now, media companies are staring down a different kind of truth. Coronavirus is raging, the country’s economic picture looks bleak, and the president seems poised for defeat in November (or whenever they finish counting the votes).

“The Trump moment — a boon for TV ratings, web traffic, video views, retweets, and for a sense of journalistic purpose — could be coming to a close at a perilous time in the media business.” Digiday

TRANSITION — Shivani Vakharia is now a congressional affairs officer at the National Endowment for Democracy. She previously was a legislative assistant and press assistant for Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.).

ENGAGED — Tyler Hardy, deputy legislative director for Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Abby Shaffer, an elementary school teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools, got engaged over the weekend. Pic

— Evan Viau, professional staff member for House Energy and Commerce Republicans, proposed to Laine Hamilton, a data analyst at Nestle, at sunrise this morning. Pic Another pic

BONUS BIRTHDAY: John McManus, president of the McManus Group and avid cycling and sailing extraordinaire, is 51. He’s celebrating by vacationing with his family in Maine (h/t William Rhyne)

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