You're invited ... to an event tomorrow at 8 a.m. in downtown D.C.: Chuck Todd and Jim VandeHei host a live, onstage version of their famous mini-roundtable, and talk infrastructure with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), an avid pilot. Hope to see you — RSVP here.
Air Force One just landed at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeting President Trump at a tarmac arrival ceremony. The President and First Lady will visit the Western Wall later this morning, ET.
Trump said: "Now we must work together to build a future where the nations of the region are at peace ... During my travels in recent days, I have found new reasons for hope."
With ambitions for an eventual peace deal, Trump will continue the message he's taking to the base of three great religions: Tolerance, and a fierce resistance to terrorism, lead to a more prosperous future.
Trump's weekend overture to the Muslim world, combined with his call to the national leaders in his audience to be tougher on their homegrown threat ("history's great test — to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism"), has given him a momentary respite from the legal peril he left at home.
The reviews, while noting some contradictions with past Trump stances, were mostly good. Fox's Bret Baier said from Saudi Arabia: "[A]s you travel the world and you talk to world leaders, they think ... that this is a turning of the tide in the relationships of these countries — Saudi Arabia, the Gulf nations."
"I do think that you are seeing an effort by the White House ... to try to stick to the message of the day, and that's why we're not having a lot of open Q&As." (Trump hasn't yet had a presser on the trip.)
Can Trump sustain the presidential mien, for this week, and when he returns?
A key Republican emails: "Can this team and its leader learn from success? If they can, the turn to presidential-level issues can create a sense of calm and normalcy which would begin the rebuilding process with Rs in Congress."
"It means leaving Mueller to the various lawyers and focusing on results for the moderate-income voters that Trump uniquely inspires. Trump's presidency is about Trump, and that is vexing and tiresome to those struggling in a rapidly changing economy."
Quick read by Axios' David Lawler on what to expect during the Israel leg.
P.S. Per Bloomberg's Alan Levin, Margaret Talev and Jonathan Ferziger: Trump traveled from Riyadh to Tel Aviv aboard Air Force One today "in what appears to be an unprecedented direct flight by a U.S. president between those nations, which don't have diplomatic relations."
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... "Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man!" — President Trump, returning a compliment given by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who had told Mr. Trump, "You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible."
The White House is billing the budget being released tomorrow as "a taxpayer-first budget," but the proposed cuts (allowing balance over 10 years) are so deep that even Hill Republicans will resist.
One former top GOP aide points out that food stamps are politically treacherous to reform, let alone cut.
A Trump official tells me the budget includes notable welfare reform: "We'll work with states to impose work requirements on the able-bodied. ... Not enough people left ... dependency as the economy recovered."
What we know:
Posted 4:34 a.m. ... "Ford Motor Co. will replace Chief Executive Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, the former head of office-furniture maker Steelcase Inc. who joined the auto maker in 2016," The Wall Street Journal's John D. Stoll and Christina Rogers.
The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, "Firing Back: How Sally Yates stood up to the President": "
Sally Quillian Yates, who is fifty-six, spent more than two decades as a federal prosecutor in Georgia before being named a U.S. Attorney and then the Deputy Attorney General by President Obama. She and her husband, Comer, live in Atlanta, but she keeps a modest apartment in Washington, where I met her for her first interview since her career at the Department of Justice ended. Yates was composed, disciplined, and sharp-witted as she spoke about her brief time in the Trump Administration [as acting attorney general] ...
Yates ... weighed her options: she would either resign or refuse to defend the order [on migrant travel]. She told me, ... "I thought, based on all the evidence I had, that it was based on religion. And then I thought back to Jim Crow laws, or literacy tests. Those didn't say that the purpose was to prevent African-Americans from voting. But that's what the purpose was." ...
[A]t around 9 P.M., [White House counsel Don] McGahn's office asked the [Justice Department's] senior Trump appointee to deliver a letter to Yates, notifying her that she had been fired. He said a prayer, and walked down the hall. "Madam Attorney General, I have a memorandum for you from the White House that I've been asked to deliver."
Conservatives are slowly coming around on climate change, Axios' Amy Harder reports in her weekly "Harder Line" energy column:
Another worthy read in the new New Yorker, "The Warrior Monk," by Dexter Filkins, on SecDef James Mattis:
[I]n embracing Mattis's Mad Dog persona, Trump neglected a side of him that appealed to many others — that of the deeply read scholar-soldier and sophisticated analyst. In this view, Mattis is a kind of anti-Trump, a veteran of three wars who has been sobered by their brutalities, a guardian of the internationalist tradition in American foreign policy. ...
Speaking to reporters earlier this year, Mattis took the measure of his adversaries. He said he believed that Vladimir Putin was a rational leader, and therefore could probably be deterred from aggression. I asked whether he thought that the North Korean premier was rational. "I've seen arguments that he's irrational and unpredictable,and I've seen arguments that he's very thoughtful about solidifying power," Mattis said. "I'll keep reading to see if I can come to a conclusion."
"The loss of blue-collar jobs ... is forcing more men into low-wage service jobs, and in some cases causing them to drop out of the workforce altogether," according to a Boston Globe front-pager by Katie Johnston:
"For decades, investors imagined a time when data-driven traders would dominate financial markets. That day has arrived," The Wall Street Journal reports on its front page, in a big package anchored by Gregory Zuckerman and Bradley Hope:
Seven months after the "Access Hollywood" tape that ended his "Today" show career, Billy Bush talks to The Hollywood Reporter (by Lacey Rose and Marisa Guthrie):
P.S. "Smaller Rivals See a Chance to Challenge Fox News" — Jim Rutenberg's "Mediator" column, on N.Y. Times p. B3, says Bill O'Reilly could be the key to turbocharging a real rival.
"Ringling Bros. shuts down the big top after 146 years," by AP's Tamara Lush at the Nassau County Coliseum on Long Island, about 30 miles east of New York City: