Mike Allen Feb 24
SaveSave story

Facing chaos at home, Trump looks for wins abroad

Normality amid chaos: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife, Lucy, to the White House yesterday. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Unlikely to score a big domestic victory heading into the midterm elections and his own reelection, President Trump is trying a new angle in his effort to broker a meaningful peace deal in the Middle East.

  • Trump has accelerated his diplomatic efforts among quarreling Arab monarchies, starting with an upcoming series of White House visits by leaders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported last night.
  • Why it matters: The administration hopes these separate meetings could lead to a summit in the U.S. in late spring, perhaps focused on Qatar and its alleged ties to terrorism.

Any progress in the Middle East would be a respite for Trump from the homefront, which yesterday brought a month's worth of news:

  • Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates "agreed to cooperate with the special counsel ... a sign that Mr. Gates plans to offer incriminating information against his longtime associate and the former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort." (N.Y. Times, lead of paper)
  • "Inside the Manafort money machine: A decade of lavish spending, influence-peddling and alleged fraud." (WashPost's Marc Fisher)
  • "Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein ... alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner." (WashPost, lead of homepage)
  • "Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined a growing list of Republican lawmakers ... to endorse raising the minimum age for purchasing rifles to 21 years old, marking his first major break from [NRA] policy priorities." (WashPost, lead of paper)
  • "The Trump administration on Friday levied what it called its largest ever North Korea sanctions package, hitting dozens of shipping and trading companies as it seeks to shrivel foreign-currency revenues to the nuclear-armed regime." (Wall Street Journal, lead of paper)
  • The Trump administration is accelerating the projected opening of the Jerusalem embassy to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel on May 14. (Axios)

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Rick Gates, former top aide on Trump campaign, explaining in a letter to friends and family that he was pleading guilty to charges stemming from the inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election:

  • “The reality of how long this legal process will likely take, the cost, and the circuslike atmosphere of an anticipated trial are too much. I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process.”
Haley Britzky 4 hours ago
SaveSave story

Zuckerberg happy to testify if it is "the right thing to do”

A portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
A portrait of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would be "happy" to testify before Congress if it was "the right thing to do," in an interview with CNN's Laurie Segall.

Why it matters: Facebook has been under the microscope lately for what Zuckerberg called earlier today the "Cambridge Analytica situation." Zuckerberg said if he was the "person...who will have the most knowledge," then he'd be the one to testify in the face of Facebook's data-collection situation.

Bob Herman 2 hours ago
SaveSave story

Jamie Dimon's $141 million payday

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at an event.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at an event in 2016. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took home more than $141 million in 2017 after calculating the actual realized value of his stock, according to a preliminary draft of the banking giant's annual proxy document. Dimon's compensation is calculated as $28.3 million when using the estimated fair value of his stock. But that compensation figure doesn't matter as much because it doesn't reflect what executives report in their personal income tax filings.

Why it matters: It's the highest pay package of any active corporate CEO from 2017, based on Securities and Exchange Commission documents that have been filed thus far. Dimon's compensation is also 1,818 times higher than what the average JPMorgan employee makes.