A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
President Trump could not be more clear: He is pledging to provide “truly great HealthCare that will work for America.”
But maybe not until after the 2020 election.
In an unusual nighttime tweetstorm on Monday, he said “everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work,” so the GOP is developing “a really great HealthCare Plan with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare.” He said a “vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win” (pause for the next tweet) “back the House.”
The president went on to say that “the Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great HealtCare.” Presidential typos are a sign of carelessness… or worse. But I digress. The president is drawing attention to health care concerns, and that’s a good thing. The national news media does not dedicate enough time to this topic. The more attention, the better!
→ CNN’s Kyle Feldscher: “There is no evidence that there is another health care reform proposal coming from the GOP…”
→ A view from the left: Jon Favreau of “Pod Save America” tweeted, “Trump just made sure another election will be about health care. Amazing.”
Senior WH adviser Jared Kushner gave a very, very rare interview to Fox on Monday… On the same day that the House Oversight Committee upped its scrutiny of the WH’s security clearance process, due to info provided by a WH insider. Kushner is one of the people ensnared by the scandal.
Kushner was on Fox to talk about the “First Step Act.” So his interviewer, Laura Ingraham, broached the security clearance issue as gently as possible. “The left is going crazy about this security clearance issue,” she said, knowing that she’d be incensed if the shoes were on the other feet.
Kushner said he “couldn’t comment on the White House process” but said he’d been “accused of all kinds of things” that turned out to be false during his tenure at the WH. Ingraham then mocked the issue by asking Kushner if he poses a “grave national security concern to the country.”
→ The NYT’s Maggie Haberman tweeted that Ingraham noticeably did NOT “follow up by asking him if his father-in-law overruled security officials to grant him his clearance…”
A White House whistleblower
The big picture, via CNN’s Alex Marquardt: “A White House whistleblower is alleging the Trump administration’s handling of security clearances is threatening U.S. national security.”
Her name is Tricia Newbold. She remains on the job. “In a White House where aggressive leak investigations are conducted in service of President Trump, who has aides sign nondisclosure agreements,” her account “represents the rarest of developments: a damning on-the-record account from a current employee inside his ranks,” the NYT’s Katie Rogers writes…
Coming soon to Facebook?
Oliver Darcy emails: Mark Zuckerberg surprised everyone on Monday with the announcement that Facebook is developing a new section on the site devoted to curating “high quality” and “trustworthy” news.
Zuckerberg, who dropped the news during a recorded conversation with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, said the new section would be modeled after Facebook’s existing “Watch” tab, which hosts videos and original programming. Some details:
>> Executives have discussed possibly launching the feature by the end of 2019, a source familiar with the convos told me…
>> Zuckerberg said Facebook “should be thinking” about the possibility of paying publishers license fees. He stressed that he wants to improve monetization for publishers…
FB may hire editors
More from Darcy: Zuckerberg said the new section will be a mix between curated and personalized content. To accomplish the former, there are already internal conversations about potentially hiring a small team of journalists to curate news for the section, per my source…
Zuckerberg also said he wants to build the new section in a “consultive way,” allowing “experts in the field” to provide feedback…
Behind the scenes…
Facebook execs “have been discussing and tinkering with” a News tab “for months,” Recode’s Peter Kafka reported Monday. “Both outgoing product boss Chris Cox and Campbell Brown, the company’s head of news partnerships, have championed the project.” Zuckerberg’s comments to Döpfner have brought the project into public view for the first time…
News Corp hopes for “concrete steps”
News Corp CEO Robert Thomson – who compared Google and FB to Big Tobacco just last year – said Monday “we welcome the comments” from Zuckerberg about a news tab and a possible licensing fee for news sources.Thomson: “We hope Mark’s words are followed by concrete steps towards actually creating a new business model that recognizes and compensates the work of quality journalism.”
>> Flashback: Rupert Murdoch said last year, “If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee…”
Zuckerberg’s European tour
Zuckerberg had a busy day in Berlin. After his session at the HQ of Axel Springer, he had several meetings and a big dinner with politicians such asDorothee Bär and journalists such as Kai Diekmann, the former EIC of Bild. He’s using the trip to reiterate what he wrote in his op-ed over the weekend. “Next stop on my trip is Dublin,” he wrote on FB Monday night…
Warner responds to the op-ed
Via Donie O’Sullivan: Senator Mark Warner responded to Zuck’s op-ed by saying, “I’m glad to see that Mr. Zuckerberg is finally acknowledging what I’ve been saying for past two years: the era of the social media Wild West is over. Facebook needs to work with Congress to pass effective legislative guardrails, recognizing that the largest platforms, like Facebook, are going to need to be subject to a higher level of regulation in keeping with their enormous power.” Stay tuned…
FOR THE RECORD
– On Page One of Tuesday’s NYT: “Flood of Fake Posts Tests Facebook as India Votes…” (NYT)
– Cuomo at the border: CNN’s Chris Cuomo brought his 9 p.m. program to Hidalgo, Texas on Monday… He pressured elected officials from both parties to take action… Watch the highlights via his social media feeds… (Twitter)
– Two moves at Newsweek are being announced on Tuesday: Hank Gilmanis returning in a newly created role, editorial director, and Melissa Jewsbury is being promoted to managing editor…
WSJ: “Politico Considers Naming Editor to Succeed Harris”
That’s the headline in Tuesday’s paper, courtesy Ben Mullin and Lukas Alpert. “Politico is discussing a plan to install a new editor in chief to replaceJohn Harris,” they report, citing people familiar with the matter. “Matthew Kaminski, currently Politico’s global editor, would become the outlet’s new top editor under the plan being discussed, the people said.” And Harris would “remain at Politico in a leadership role.” Harris co-founded the site twelve years ago, so this has an end-of-an-era feel to it…
→ The big Q: Why is Politico owner Robert Allbritton passing over Politico’s top newsroom editor Carrie Budoff Brown?