Good Thursday morning. Chris Krueger, in his "D.C. Download" for Cowen Washington Research Group, has perfect headline for GOP's health-care repeal-quest: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
The Watergate resonance of the Bob Mueller probe rose this week with a CNN report that the special counsel has details of wiretaps of "former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election."
Now we can tell you about another potential honey pot for Mueller. Former colleagues of Sean Spicer tell Axios that he filled "notebook after notebook" during meetings at the Republican National Committee, later at the Trump campaign, and then at the White House.
When Spicer worked at the RNC, he was said to have filled black books emblazoned with the party's seal. Spicer was so well-known for his copious notes that underlings joked about him writing a tell-all.
One source familiar with the matter said that the records were just to help him do his job.
"Sean documented everything," the source said.
That surprised some officials of previous White Houses, who said that because of past investigations, they intentionally took as few notes as possible when they worked in the West Wing.
When we texted Spicer for comment on his note-taking practices, he replied: "Mike, please stop texting/emailing me unsolicited anymore."
When I replied with a "?" (I have known Spicer and his wife for more than a dozen years), he answered: "Not sure what that means. From a legal standpoint I want to be clear: Do not email or text me again. Should you do again I will report to the appropriate authorities."
The WashPost reported Sept. 8 that Mueller "has alerted the White House that his team will probably seek to interview" Spicer and five other top current and former Trump advisers.
One White House official told me: "People are going to wish they'd been nicer to Sean. … He was in a lot of meetings."
About an hour after Spicer's texts, he replied to a polite email I had sent earlier, seeking comment:
Per my text:
Please refrain from sending me unsolicited texts and emails
Should you not do so I will contact the appropriate legal authorities to address your harassment
Sean M Spicer
Brian Williams said on his MSNBC show last night that Mueller has "become a vacuum cleaner":
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told me in an interview yesterday at his inaugural Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York that the Russian fake news and paid propaganda from the last election were "killing democracy," and that Facebook should "read every message" if that's what's needed:
"Facebook has 2 billion users, record profits, vast influence, and big problems in Washington," write Max Chafkin and Sarah Frier in Bloomberg Businessweek's forthcoming cover story:
P.S. "Twitter Inc. representatives will meet with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff next week in relation to inquiries into the 2016 U.S. presidential election." (Reuters)
TIME's Phil Elliott cover story on Democrats:
"Jimmy Kimmel Escalates Senator War ... Kimmel's feud with Bill Cassidy over health care reform plans continued for a second night," by Hollywood Reporter's Lauren Huff:
P.S. L.A. Times, top of column 1, "Millions could lose insurance under GOP bill," by Noam Levey: "The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest."
"Google said it would buy part of struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. for $1.1 billion in cash, as it accelerates its efforts to crack the handset market," per Wall Street Journal and others:
P.S. "SEC Discloses Edgar Corporate Filing System Was Hacked in 2016," per Wall Street Journal front-pager: