President Trump has begun reaching out to veterans of earlier White Houses for advice, as he seeks to bring more order and stability to a chaotic internal power structure that relies on competing and sometimes conflicting centers of gravity.
"I just wish he'd done it before he took office," said a West Wing insider.
The conversations suggest West Wing changes could be in the offing, according to people close to the White House. One source said there's clearly "some fluidity" as Trump begins Day 20 as president. Other sources, directly involved, tell us there was lots of jockeying and conversations among senior West Wing players over the weekend, as top officials sought to further define their still-murky lanes.
"We've added a little due process," said a top official. "The question still is: Can we herd all the cats?"
Republican elder statesmen call for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change, per N.Y. Times' John Schwartz: "The group [is] led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, with former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Henry M. Paulson Jr., a former secretary of the Treasury."
This is delicious ... When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Trump at the White House on Friday, he plans to hand over a "tweetable" figure about planned Japanese investments in the U.S., the Financial Times reports from Toyko:
"Appeals Court Panel Appears Skeptical of Trump's Travel Ban," says the online headline of a dispatch by Adam Liptak, the N.Y. Times' Supreme Court reporter.
Liptak writes that the three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, during oral arguments yesterday over the stay of Trump's migrant travel restrictions, "sometimes seemed taken aback by the assertiveness of the administration's position, which in places came close to saying the court was without power to make judgments about Mr. Trump's actions."
David Brooks column, "The Fallows Question: Where is history being made right now?": "Today, I'd say the most pivotal spot on earth is Washington, D.C.
"The crucial questions will be settled there: Can Donald Trump be induced to govern in some rational manner or will he blow up the world? Does he represent a populist tide that will only grow or is some other set of ideas building for his overthrow? Are the leading institutions — everything from the Civil Service to the news media to the political parties — resilient enough to correct for the Trumpian chaos? Washington will either preserve the world order or destroy it."
Epic interview between CNN's Jack Tapper on his 4 p.m. show "The Lead," and Kellyanne Conway, from the White House lawn: "We have a very high respect for the truth. ... We have a high regard for the facts. But I want you to see some of the other facts ... No, I don't think CNN is fake news. I think there are SOME reports everywhere ... that are not well-researched and are sometimes based on falsehoods."
"Conway said she was 'trying to reach out' to the media and 'put out the olive branch.' At one point, Conway seemed to argue that the President offering blatant falsehoods as truth should matter less than his perceived accomplishments. 'Are they (falsehoods) more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people's lives?'"
Confide — an encrypted messaging app that deletes chats after they're read — is fast becoming a tool of choice for Republicans in Washington, per Axios' Jonathan Swan and David McCabe:
Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" on CBS beat NBC's Jimmy Fallon in Nielsens last week for the first time since Colbert replaced David Letterman in 2015, per AP's David Bauder:
Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Big Firms Cut Back Property Holdings": "Some prominent real-estate investors are reducing their holdings and getting more selective about new deals, in a sign that the eight-year bull market for U.S. commercial property is coming to a close."
New Yorker profile ... "Journeyman: Anthony Bourdain's moveable feast -- Guided by a lusty appetite for indigenous culture and cuisine, the swaggering chef has become a travelling statesman," by Patrick Radden Keefe: "The secret ingredient of the [CNN] show is the when-in-Rome avidity with which Bourdain partakes of indigenous custom and cuisine, whether he is pounding vodka before plunging into a frozen river outside St. Petersburg or spearing a fatted swine as the guest of honor at a jungle longhouse in Borneo."
"Like a great white shark, Bourdain tends to be photographed with his jaws wide open, on the verge of sinking his teeth into some tremulous delicacy. In Bourdain's recollection, his original pitch for the series was, roughly, 'I travel around the world, eat a lot of [stuff], and basically do whatever the [heck] I want.' The formula has proved improbably successful."