Daily Kickoff: Trump brags about ignoring world leaders calling to dissuade Jerusalem move | How Lacob & Guber beat Larry Ellison to buy the Warriors


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TALE OF THE TAPE — CNN obtains secret Trump-Cohen tape — by Chris Cuomo, Kara Scannell and Eli Watkins: “Presidential candidate Donald Trump is heard on tape discussing with his attorney Michael Cohen how they would buy the rights to a Playboy model’s story about an alleged affair Trump had with her years earlier… On the tape Cohen also says, “I’ve spoken with (Trump Organization chief financial officer) Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with funding.”” [CNN]

— Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis tells Axios’ Mike Allen that the tape’s release sends the message: “I am no longer the previous Michael Cohen that you knew — taking a bullet for Donald Trump, saying anything to defend him, being a good soldier… That is over.”

— “Rudy Giuliani said he spoke to the president Tuesday night and described him as “discouraged.” “He’s disappointed his own lawyer recorded him,” Giuliani said.” [WashPost]

Trump tweets this morning: “What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!”

New Cohen Tape Surfaces a Bigger Trump Fish — by Timothy O’Brien: “[Allen] Weisselberg isn’t a bit player in Trumplandia and his emergence on the Cohen-Trump recording – as someone possibly facilitating a scheme apparently meant to disguise a payoff – should worry the president. Weisselberg has detailed information about the Trump Organization’s operations, business deals and finances. If he winds up in investigators’ crosshairs for secreting payoffs, he could potentially provide much more damaging information to prosecutors than Cohen ever could about the president’s dealmaking.” [BloombergView]

BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Two Trump Allies, Seeing Unlimited Opportunity, Instead Drew Scrutiny — by Ken Vogel, Mark Mazzetti, Maggie Haberman and David Kirkpatrick: “[Elliott] Broidy was a client of [Rick] Gates, and had paid him at least $125,000. For that money Mr. Gates advised Mr. Broidy on how to pursue both a contract for his business and appointments for his associates and provided insight into the new administration’s foreign policy plans, according to interviews as well as internal emails and documents obtained by The New York Times… After the inauguration, Mr. Gates began receiving monthly consulting payments for help navigating the new administration from a company headed by [Tom] Barrack, Colony NorthStar, which paid Mr. Gates $20,000 a month, and one owned by Mr. Broidy, which paid Mr. Gates $25,000 a month.” [NYTimes]

— On Monday, lawyers representing Broidy filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against Jamal Benomar, who served as a special adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The suit alleges that Benomar had frequent contact with senior Qatari officials and with members of the Qatari team that carried out the hack of Broidy’s email server and then “helped to mastermind the dissemination of stolen materials to the media and other third parties.” [WSJ]

Ivanka Trump Closing Her Namesake Fashion Brand — by Rebecca Ballhaus and Suzanne Kapner: “Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, is closing her namesake fashion brand, more than a year after she formally separated herself from the company and entered the White House as a senior adviser… “After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington,” she said. “So making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.” [WSJ]

Ivanka Trump’s Latest Business Moves Signal a New Ambition — by Emily Jane Fox: “In some ways, this latest move reflects some level of self-preservation. Back in New York, her friend group is smaller, the invitations fewer and farther between, and the city’s denizens are still seething over her father’s election. Sure, she slinks in for meetings or hair appointments or small dinners with confidants every now and then, but former friends note there is not exactly a welcoming committee waiting upon her arrival.” [VanityFair]

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Palestinian envoy says US peace plan is ‘dead upon arrival’ — by Edith Lederer: “Riyad Mansour told reporters that after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6 the United States “lost the qualification to be the only party to supervise the political process.” … “It seems to me that people in Washington, D.C. — they still think that ‘we are the only game in town. It’s us or nothing,'” Mansour said. “We are not a player to accommodate their desires.”” [AP]

Palestinians to Lead U.N.’s Biggest Bloc of Developing Countries — by Rick Gladstone: “The biggest bloc of developing countries at the United Nations has chosen the observer state of Palestine as its next leader… a decision that could cause new tensions with Israel and the United States… The bloc often speaks as one voice in the General Assembly… In an emailed statement, Israel’s ambassador, Danny Danon, was strongly critical. “The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations,” he said. “It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement.” [NYTimes]

HEARD AT THE UN — Haley pressures Arab states to step up on Palestinian aid: ‘We are not fools’ — by Adam Shaw: “At a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, [Nikki] Haley noted there is “no end” to speeches from Arab states criticizing Israel’s actions in the region… “If those words were useful in the schools, the hospitals, and the streets of their communities, the Palestinian people would not be facing the desperate conditions we are discussing here today,” she said…

— Haley continued: “Americans are very generous people. We are humanitarian oriented… But we are not fools. If we extend a hand in friendship and generosity, we do not expect our hand to be bitten. And as we extend our hand, we also expect others to extend theirs as well.” [FoxNews]

— UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Nickolay Mladenov: Israel and Hamas were “minutes away” from another “devastating confrontation” in Gaza on Saturday… “Unless we begin in earnest the crucial work required to change the current deteriorating dynamics, another explosion is almost a certainty.” [AP]

Israeli minister sees Gaza-style measures for U.S.-Mexico border — by Dan Williams: “The United States could apply some of the security measures used for Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip to its own frontier with Mexico, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Tuesday. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan last month hosted his U.S. counterpart, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen… “She told me there is certainly a lot to learn here, and I reckon that some of this will certainly be implemented in what the United States is setting up on its border with Mexico,” Erdan told Israel’s Ynet TV.”[Reuters

HEARD YESTERDAY — President Trump at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, MO: “Earlier this year, I recognized the true capital of Israel, Jerusalem, where we just opened the American Embassy. They thought it would never be named. And after it was named, they thought it would never get built, and I built it within four months.”

— NEW DETAILS: “When it came [the] time, and when people were hearing rumors about it, I was inundated from calls of every leader from all over the world, imploring me, even demanding that we not do it, to a point where I never took their calls. I called them back after I did it. You know, it’s one of those jobs, ‘Let me call them back.’ I was getting calls from kings and presidents and dictators. And when I knew what it was about, I’d say, ‘Tell them I’ll call them next week.’ Then I called them and I said, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you felt that way. Well, it’s too late.'”

TRUMPIAN LINE: “We did it. We’re proud of it. It’s there. Enjoy it.” [CSPAN]

— WORTH NOTING – On the embassy’s website: “Please note when making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem that you must select Jerusalem as the city and Jerusalem as the country. If you choose Israel as the country, the system will automatically redirect you to make an appointment at the Branch Office in Tel Aviv.” h/t Allison Sommer

Trump on Iran: “We will see what happens, but we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration, which was a disaster ”

— Trump’s defense secretary, Jim Mattis, declined to directly answer a question about whether he was concerned that Trump’s rhetoric might ratchet up tensions in the region… “It’s time for Iran to shape up and show responsibility as a responsible nation. It cannot continue to show irresponsibility as a revolutionary organization that is intent on exporting terrorism, exporting disruption, across the region,” said Mattis… “So I think the president was making very clear that they’re on the wrong track.” [Reuters]

HAPPENING TODAY — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on “American Diplomacy to Advance Our National Security Strategy” at 3PM EDT [CSPAN]

ON THE HILL — Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) introduced legislation this week to reform U.S. contributions to UNWRA so that the group limits their scope to the original refugees from 1948 and not include descendants who in some instances did not even grown up in the Middle East.

Lamborn tells us: “We don’t accept UNWRA’s unique definition, which is not used anywhere else in the UN when it comes to dealing with refugees. They need to get back to their original definition and original mission, and then, in light of that, we will adjust the funding accordingly. The number will go down because we’re dealing with a much smaller number of people as opposed to their current number, which is 5.3 million Palestinian refugees. We know the number is a fraction of that.”

TALK OF THE REGION — With Syria focused on ending war, it’s unlikely downed jet was threat to Israel — by Avi Issacharoff: “There is little to suggest the Syrian air force had any intention of striking Israeli targets; rather, the pilot was probably busy bombing rebel targets adjacent to the Syria-Jordan-Israel border triangle as part of a wide Syrian and Russian offensive… If the pattern in other areas is any guide, soon enough this triangle region, too, will also be under Syrian control and quiet may return to Israel’s Golan frontier.” [ToI] •

Bennett: Jewish Nation-State Law harms Druze — by Gil Hoffman: “Education Minister Naftali Bennett took a surprising stand Wednesday when he accused his own government of making a mistake in the Jewish Nation-State Law that passed last Thursday… Bennett’s change of heart came after holding many discussions with what he called “our Druze brothers.” … “It has become clear that the manner in which the Nation-State Law was enacted was very damaging, especially to them and to anyone who has tied his fate to the Jewish state,” Bennett said.” [JPost]

HEARD YESTERDAY — State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Israel’s nation-state law: “We hesitate to respond – or to answer questions about other country’s legislation… We are certainly aware of that new law. I’d have to refer you to the Government of Israel for the specifics of that law and their position on that. But I can tell as a general matter, and as it pertains to this, that we believe in equality of all persons before the law.”

2018 WATCH — Romney has a massive campaign cash advantage over Wilson — by Bryan Schott: “[Mitt] Romney pulled in more than $2.4 million in campaign contributions from April to July… Among Romney’s contributors are GOP megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Frank Vandersloot, and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.” [UtahPolicy]

** Good Wednesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Untold Story — How Joe Lacob and Peter Guber won the Warriors and Oracle founder Larry Ellison lost (worth the read but behind a paywall) [TheAthletic] • Anne Wojcicki’s 23andMe Gets $300 Million Boost From GlaxoSmithKline To Develop New Drugs [Forbes] • Seagram Heiress Clare Bronfman Arrested For Ties To Alleged Sex Cult [TheCut] — Clare Bronfman was released on a $100 million bond [Crains] • Kushner Real Estate Group purchase $56M N.J. property, continue apartment-buying spree [NJAdvance]

ASPEN, the most interesting local news town — “The Spy Who Drove Me” — by Julia Ioffe: “It all started last Wednesday night, after the first day of the Aspen Security Forum, perhaps the most high-level annual gathering of national security types: spooks, former spooks, people who rely on spooks to set U.S. foreign policy, people who write about spooks, people who study spooks, and any politicians who want to participate in the forum. That night, I stood waiting for an Uber… Finally, a car pulled up and our designated Uber driver, a woman I’ll call Gloria, welcomed us in. She was an older woman, somewhere in her sixties, and had a sweet and heavy Hispanic accent.”

“It was all very standard Uber chit-chat fare: Have you been to Aspen before? What brings you here? “So what’s going on with North Korea?” Gloria asked. “What are people saying?” I murmured something as I dug around Instagram. “You know, I’ve been to North Korea,” Gloria said. I looked up. “What?” I asked, startled. “How? When?” “As part of a delegation.” “What kind of delegation?” I asked. Gloria was silent, driving through the dark streets.”

“[The next morning] I texted Gloria and asked her to pick me up in downtown Aspen and take me back to the conference site… “Since I saw your face yesterday, I’ve been wondering,” she said, “are you from a Russian background?” Suddenly, I was jolted from my self-flagellating reverie. How the hell did Gloria know I was from Russia? I certainly hadn’t mentioned it, and my last name wasn’t on my Uber profile. And, since I’m Jewish, I don’t even look particularly Russian—that is, classically Slavic. What else did Gloria know, and how did she know it?” [GQ]

Pink recalls bringing family to Berlin Holocaust memorial — by Amy Spiro: “Singer Pink opened up to friend and actress Reese Witherspoon in a recent episode of her new talk show, and discussed an emotional moment on tour with her family. “We went to Berlin and the Holocaust Memorial,” Pink told Witherspoon in a recent episode of Hello Sunshine…  The singer told Witherspoon that her then 6-year-old daughter Willow’s reaction to the visit was deeply moving. “She was like, ‘wait, so [grandma’s] Jewish… my mom’s Jewish, well then I’m Jewish,'” Pink recalled her daughter saying. “‘Well then this could have been us,’ and at six, it’s just like, to watch those wheels turn,” the singer, born Alecia Beth Moore, recounted.” [JPost]

MAZEL TOV: Karlie Kloss Is Engaged to Joshua Kushner: ‘Their Hearts Are Full’ — by Colleen Kratofil: “Supermodel Karlie Kloss and her boyfriend Joshua Kushner are engaged after six years of dating! … Prior to their engagement, a source tells PEOPLE that Kloss converted to Judaism in early June (a step Ivanka Trump also took before her engagement to the elder Kushner brother).” [PeopleNYT]

VIRAL — “Move over Horah, dancing with jet packs are the new hot Jewish wedding ritual.” [BarstoolSports]

One of Instagram’s biggest influencers wants influencers to know the end is near — by Chloe Melas: “The Fat Jewish, whose real name is Josh Ostrovsky, says the online phenomenon that made him a tidy sum of money has nearly run its course. The end of the influencer age, he says, is nigh. The future lies in making real things for real people. “Everybody just wants to be an influencer now. Nobody wants to get a job,” he told CNNMoney in a recent interview…” [CNN

DESSERT — Shops Come and Go. But 2 New York Photographers Don’t Want to Forget — by Laura Holson: “James and Karla Murray have lived in the East Village for 22 years. And they have highlighted some of the family-owned stores they frequented in “Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.,” a mixed media art installation recently opened in Seward Park on the Lower East Side. All of the storefronts represented, except for Katz’s Delicatessen, have shuttered.” [NYTimes

‘Food Fight,’ a new kosher web series — by Jeanne Muchnick: “Rorie Weisberg, a health coach and founder of Full n’ Free, is competing against three other contestants in “Food Fight,” airing at Kosher[dot]com/foodfight. Her challenge: To create a dish that’s more beautiful, better executed, and above all, more delicious than the rest — all within a half-hour time period and using one key ingredient. The series, which runs once per week, premiered July 25 and was filmed in Tarrytown.” [Lohud]

BIRTHDAYS: Journalist, writer and author, the mother of John Podhoretz, Midge Decter (born Midge Rosenthal) turns 91… Cinematographer, whose work includes “The Empire Strikes Back,” Peter Suschitzky turns 77… Member of the New York City Council since 2014, Alan N. Maisel turns 72… Born in Casablanca, nightclub owner, entrepreneur and film producer, he produced “The Woman in Red” and “Weekend at Bernie’s,” Victor Drai turns 71… Former IDF Brigadier General (he was part of Operation Entebbe in 1976), a former leader of the National Religious Party, then a member of Knesset (2003-2009), now President of Genie Oil and Gas, Efraim “Effi” Eitam turns 66… Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist, formerly of the Washington Post editorial board (2002-2006), Anne Applebaum turns 54…

Retired MLB pitcher (1988-1997) from the small Jewish community in the Dominican Republic, he maintains a kosher home (not to be confused with the current NY Mets player of the same name), José Bautista turns 54… Israeli journalist, television news anchor on Channel 10 and author of a non-fiction book and a novel, Oshrat Kotler turns 53… Senior managing director of the Orthodox Union, Rabbi Steven Weil turns 53… Member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing a district in the San Fernando Valley, Mitchell Englander turns 48… NYC-based criminal defense attorney, Arkady L. Bukh turns 46… Head coach of the men’s basketball team at Kent State University, Rob Senderoff turns 45… Baseball pitcher in the Oakland Athletics organization, he pitched for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Joseph “Joey” Samuel Wagman turns 27… Erin Seidler


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