A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
“The Hill to Die On” is about to be everywhere.
Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer’s scoop-filled book about Capitol Hill in the Trump age comes out next Tuesday, and it’s already starting to make news. WaPo’s Ashley Parker says the book reads like an extended edition of Sherman and Palmer’s Politico Playbook newsletter, with each chapter containing “at least one or two nuggets.”
President Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Mark Meadows were all interviewed on the record. I peeked at the book’s notes on sourcing… It says the authors interviewed “characters in this book and aides involved in the legislative process as often as sev¬eral times each week stretching from Election Day 2016 through Febru¬ary 2019.”
And check this out: “On several occasions, sources allowed us to listen in to telephone conversations or conference calls as they were happen¬ing.”Plus: “Sources in both parties agreed to share meeting notes, transcripts of telephone conversations, recordings of telephone conversations, and recordings of meetings, e-mails, and memos.”
In other words: They’re saying they have receipts.
Some of the scoops:
Parker nabbed an advance copy and wrote it up on Wednesday — she led with Trump sitting in an infrastructure briefing and scrawling the word “Sloppy Steve.” Meaning, the president spent the meeting thinking about “how he wanted to trash Steve Bannon,” the authors wrote.
The Guardian’s Tom McCarthy and Martin Pengelly also obtained a copy. Their headline: “Trump floated nominating Merrick Garland to supreme court, book reveals.”
Hannity is on the line
Here’s more from Parker’s summary for WaPo: “Sean Hannity also makes several appearances” in the book, “including on a health-care conference call with Trump and a few Republican lawmakers where, ‘much to everyone’s surprise,’ Hannity is also on the line.”
Parker says Sherman and Palmer depict the president as “bumbling, if genial.” Trump “seems to have copious free time, and the book gives the impression of a president constantly dialing lawmakers just to chat…”
→ WHAT’S NEXT: I hear that Politico will publish the first official excerpt from the book on Friday…
→ THE BIG PICTURE: The market for books about All Things Trump remains very healthy…
On Page One of Thursday’s NYT…
The New York Times is giving this headline big play: “BARR UNDERSTATED MUELLER FINDINGS, SOME ON TEAM SAY.” It’s at the top of Wednesday evening’s home page and Thursday’s front page.
The news: Some of Robert Mueller’s investigators “have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations,” Nicholas Fandos, Michael S. Schmidt and Mark Mazzetti report.
The second graf describes the stakes: This was “one of the most consequential government investigations in American history.” And some members of Mueller’s team “are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel’s findings, Americans’ views will have hardened before the investigation’s conclusions become public…”
“The View” primary continues
The ABC talk show has been a key stop for 2020 contenders. And on Thursday, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is scheduled to be on the show. BuzzFeed’sHenry Gomez, who’s based in Cleveland and has covered Ryan for years, says that Ryan “is expected to announce a presidential campaign this week.” Put two and two together…
→ Speaking of “The View:” Ramin Setoodeh’s new book about the show is holding steady on Amazon’s best sellers list…
Zuckerberg on “GMA”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos has landed Mark Zuckerberg’s “first network TV interview since news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in March 2018,” per an ABC press release. The interview will air on Thursday…
Zuck spoke with CNN last year, but it’s rare to see him on one of the broadcast networks. It’s a “big get,” Donie O’Sullivan notes, but it’s “Zuckerberg’s second TV interview this week…” He also spoke with the Irish public broadcaster RTÉon his visit to Dublin on Tuesday…
Snap holding a Summit on Thursday
Kaya Yurieff emails: Snap is hosting its first-ever Snap Partner Summit on Thursday in L.A. According to Cheddar, the company is expected to launch a gaming platform for developers and more original shows. Games could provide a new source of revenue for Snap and help boost engagement. The company has struggled to grow its user base amid increased competition from Instagram and a rocky app redesign last year, which caused some users to flee the platform…
FOR THE RECORD
– Dem lawmaker David Cicilline and his GOP counterpart Doug Collinsreintroduced their “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” on Wednesday… (Variety)
– On Wednesday CBS News confirmed Tuesday’s reports about morning co-host Bianna Golodryga leaving the network… More changes to come, sooner rather than later… (People)
– Misinfo must-read of the day: BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman reports how research indicates older Americans “have disproportionally fallen prey to the dangers of internet misinformation…” (BuzzFeed)
– NYT’s Weiyi Cai and Simone Landon write about how white extremist killers are often inspired by others, underscoring how “the internet and social media have facilitated the spread of white extremist ideology and violence…” (NYT)