Daily Kickoff: When Trump’s Finance Chair Defended Trump to a Holocaust Survivor | Canova’s concession speech: “I concede DWS is a corporate stooge”

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DRIVING THE DAY: “Donald Trump to Visit Mexico After More Than a Year of Mocking It” by Nick Corasaniti and Azam Ahmed: “Donald J. Trump will visit Mexico on Wednesday for a private meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto — a trip that will take him to a nation he has repeatedly scorned — before quickly flying back for what is billed as a major immigration speech in Arizona.”[NYTimes]

Maggie Haberman tweets: “Trump’s son-in-law, Jared, is said to have been key person urging him making trip to Mexico” [Twitter]

Stuart Stevens on Morning Joe today: “Being erratic in a presidential campaign rarely works out well. … It just never comes across as a quality you want in a president that you’re sitting in a room and a guy at Breitbart says ‘Let’s go to Mexico’ and you’re off. This usually starts in a fraternity house and ends with a call from a jail in Mexico and negotiations to get ‘em back across.” [MSNBC]

PROFILE: “Trump’s Top Fundraiser Eyes the Deal of a Lifetime” by Max Abelson & Zachary Mider:“Trump called and asked Mnuchin to be his national finance chairman. He accepted. Friends who’ve known him for years found it baffling. “What the heck?” says Ben Bram, who lived with Mnuchin at Yale and joined him at Goldman Sachs. “I can’t figure it out,” says Harry Macklowe, a skyscraper developer who’s worked with Mnuchin. “I cannot figure it out. I cannot.” Brett Ratner, the director and Mnuchin’s partner in Hollywood, was unaware he knew Trump. “I swear,” he says. “I’ve never had a conversation about it.” Richard LeFrak, a billionaire developer who’s friendly with Mnuchin and has known Trump for about half a century, says he isn’t sure if the two even have the same ideology.

Mnuchin’s counterpart at the RNC is Lew Eisenberg, his father’s old partner at Goldman Sachs. “I knew him when he was 10,” Eisenberg says. “He was a cute 10-year-old kid.” Mnuchin began his Trump job by telling people he could raise $1 billion or more. The goal is now closer to half that, Mnuchin says.

In July, Trump tweeted an image of Clinton, a pile of cash, and a six-pointed star—a graphic that was previously posted on an anti-Semitic website. At some point on the job, Mnuchin got a call from a Holocaust survivor he knows. It went to voicemail, where the man told him how upset he is that Mnuchin supports Trump. He called the survivor back to say he respectfully disagreed. He must have known it was going to be ugly long before he found himself defending Trump to a Holocaust survivor. When confronted about his choices, Mnuchin tries to project amenability.

At an August Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons, he encountered Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor whom Trump floated as a Treasury pick last year. “I hear the rumor is you will be Secretary of the Treasury,” Icahn told Mnuchin. “And I will support you 100 percent on that! Because there’s no f—ing way I would ever do that.” [Businessweek]

“Mark Cuban: I ‘haven’t been asked’ to play Trump in Clinton’s debate prep” by Allan Smith: “The billionaire told Business Insider in an email that “[I] haven’t been asked.” Earlier Tuesday, Fox Business correspondent Charles Gasparino tweeted, citing sources, that Cuban was asked to play Trump in the Democratic nominee’s debate preparation and that the Clinton campaign was waiting for a response.” [BusinessInsider]

“What I learned reading 3,721 pages of Hillary Clinton’s schedule” by Eamon Javers: “Here’s what I learned. Billionaires dropped by a lot particularly Mort Zuckerman, who owns the New York Daily News and shows up in Clinton’s calendar several times, including the 35 minutes he spent with Clinton in her office on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010… The diplomatic dance of determining who gets access and who does not: Billionaire George Soros gets a half-hour meeting in the secretary’s office.” [CNBC]

David Suissa: “My problem with Clinton is not just that she is chronically evasive with the truth, but that she probably has good reason to be—that she simply has too many things to hide. If we had a transcript, for example, of her 85 conversations with the major donors to her family’s foundation, can anyone believe she would have nothing to hide? Deciding that “Clinton is better than Trump” does not mean we shouldn’t hold her accountable for her words and actions.” [JewishJournal]

“Congressional Democrats: Trump legitimizes white supremacists; Ryan and McConnell should disavow him” by Anne Gearan: “Donald Trump is reinforcing and validating white supremacists and inspiring violence against minorities, three congressional Democrats charged Tuesday as they called on House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to disavow their party’s presidential nominee.” [WashPost]

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) tells JI’s Jacob Kornbluh: “Donald Trump was a little late is denouncing David Duke and other white supremacists. It took him a while. And why should we really have confidence that this is who he is when, as you well know, Donald Trump has run a campaign that is uniquely built on over appeals to hate and prejudice, and, in fact, David Duke and other white supremacists have found his candidacy so appealing. I think it’s important that we call on all congressional Republicans to denounce his candidacy. It is really shameful that a major political party in this days – the Republicans – would countenance the kind of bigotry we have seen from Donald Trump and his campaign.”

FLORIDA’S 23RD: “Wasserman Schultz wins primary against Sanders-backed challenger” by Cristina Marcos: “Wasserman Schultz dispatched a challenge from law professor Tim Canova who sought to capitalize on the controversies surrounding her tenure at the DNC and ride on the popularity of Sanders. With 81 percent of the vote counted, Wasserman Schultz had 57 percent to Canova’s 42 percent, the Associated Press reported. Wasserman Schultz choked up as she thanked her parents for teaching her the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, the concept of repairing the world and making it a better place.”[TheHill; Herald]

Canova’s Concession: “Even when it became clear later that he had lost, Canova didn’t go quietly into the night, refusing to concede. “I will concede Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge,” he said. As for working with Wasserman Schultz in the future? “She’s never asked for my help, she’s never given me the time of day,” he said. “She’s never given the time of day to her constituents as far as I’m concerned.” [MiamiHerald] • “How the Political Revolution Failed Tim Canova” [TheAtlantic]

In the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat, Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy and Republican Senator Marco Rubio easily captured their parties’ nominations and immediately kicked off what is expected to be a closely watched race. “Republicans have chosen Donald Trump to be their leader. And Senator Marco Rubio wants to see Trump elected as our next president,” Murphy said in his victory speech. Rubio told cheering supporters that Murphy “is an enthusiastic supporter of the nuclear deal with Iran. And he is still a supporter of it even after Iran got $400 million in ransom; even after Iran took three more American hostages after the deal was finalized; even after Iran captured ten American sailors and tried to humiliate them, he still supports that deal. He still says that deal will bring us peace in our time. The last guy who said that was a prime minister from England in the 1930’s, and he regretted it for the rest of his life.”[YouTube]

Martin Sweet, Rubio’s Director of Jewish Outreach in the 2016 presidential primary, emails… “A great day for Marco Rubio here in Florida. Floridians came out in force to support Marco, and our team is ready to roll in the general election. Marco’s opponent is a pisher from Fischer Island, who was the subject of a devastating investigative report from a local CBS affiliate revealing he lied about his college degree, a CPA license, and his business experience. Marco’s steadfast support of Israel and hardcore opposition to the nuclear Iran deal stands in sharp contrast to his opponent who foolishly echoed Neville Chamberlain proclaiming that the deal would provide ‘peace in our time.’”

IRAN DEAL: “US commander: Iran behavior unchanged since nuke deal, high seas harassment ‘unsafe'” by Lucas Tomlinson: “Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, said it’s a sign the regime in Tehran is “trying to exert their influence and authority in the region.” He described the incidents as “unsafe” and “unprofessional” and not even helpful toward their long-term objectives.” [FoxNews]

Shmuley Boteach reacts to JI’s interview with Sen. Cory Booker: “I was deeply disappointed to see that in recent media interviews he gave upon his return from Israel he was quoting unnamed Israeli security experts as saying that Iran deal has enhanced Israel’s security and stopped Iran from gaining nuclear weapons in the short term. I am in Israel right now. Nothing could be further from the truth… Cory does not owe me an apology as he did not offend our personal friendship. Recent media reports had it that Cory Booker and I have reconciled over Iran when we were both in Israel… But there can be no reconciliation on Iran. Cory is dead wrong on Iran. He adds damaging insult to catastrophic injury when he defends his support of a deal that will forever mar his public legacy.” [Facebook]

Meanwhile, even after Sen. Booker denied in the interview that he attended the Boteach wedding in Israel, the Jerusalem Post’s online edition still claims he was ‘spotted’ there in an article titled, “After months of fighting Booker and Boteach seem to have made up.” Amy Spiro, who authored the article,tweeted that a correction was printed. As of this morning, still no correction online.

KAFE KNESSET — Police Controversy and an Interesting Eulogy — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The main headline in Israel today will sound familiar to American readers: it’s about the tense relationship between the Israeli police and the Ethiopian community in the country, which has long reported discrimination and excessive use of force by those in uniform. Last night, the national chief of police, Roni Alsheikh, mentioned the issue in a speech, and said that all around the world, immigrant communities tend to be more involved in crime – which could explain the problems his own police officers have when it comes to policing in the Ethiopian community. The speech received very strong backlash from the media, the Knesset and from activists within the Ethiopian community.

Alsheikh apologized and claimed that his words were misunderstood, but the controversy nevertheless resurfaced a painful debate within Israel about the state of the Ethiopian community, and in particular, the community’s complaints about mistreatment by the police.

Yesterday was also the funeral of Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defense minister and long-time Labor Party MK, who passed away at the age of 80. Prime Minister Netanyahu offered a eulogy, during which he described using Ben-Eliezer, who was born in Iraq and spoke fluent Arabic, for diplomatic missions in the Arab world. Ben-Eliezer was a minister in two Likud-led governments – the first time as Ariel Sharon’s defense minister in 2002, and the second time under Netanyahu. It was hard to miss the underlying message in Netanyahu’s eulogy about the regional benefits of a Likud-Labor partnership, i.e., creating a more moderate government that can work with Israel’s neighbors. Labor leader Isaac Herzog also spoke at the funeral, but his speech didn’t correspond with Netanyahu’s, and focused more on his personal relationship with Ben-Eliezer.

**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: Ori Allon’s Compass Earns $1 Billion Valuation As New Unicorns Become Rarer[Bloomberg] • Israel’s Delek Weighs Spinning Off Tamar Stake Into Publicly Traded Company[Haaretz; Bloomberg] • Ackman-Backed Frozen-Food Firm Founded By Noam Gottesman And Martin Franklin Aims to Rebound From Stumbles [Bloomberg]

SPOTLIGHT: “DoD Approves Israeli Radar for US Iron Curtain Testing” by Barbara Opall-Rome: “The Pentagon has given Herndon, Virginia-based defense solutions company Artis the green light to integrate Israeli radars from Rada Electronic Industries Ltd. into its Iron Curtain close-in active protection system (APS) for evaluation by the US Army.” [DefenseNews]

“Israel, U.N. exchange barbs over settlement-building and peace with Palestinians” by Joshua Mitnick: “A U.N. envoy’s statement suggesting Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements presents an obstacle to peace with Palestinians distorts history, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.” [LATimes]

“Jewish avengers unapologetic for targeting Nazis after WWII” by Aron Heller & Randy Herschaft:“Seventy years after the most daring attempt of Jewish Holocaust survivors to seek revenge against their former tormentors, the leader of the plot has only one simple regret — that to his knowledge he didn’t actually succeed in killing any Nazis. Joseph Harmatz is one of the few remaining Jewish “Avengers” who carried out a mass poisoning of former SS men in an American prisoner-of-war camp in 1946 that sickened more than 2,200 Germans but ultimately caused no known deaths. A recently declassified U.S. military report obtained by The Associated Press has only added to the mystery of why the brazen operation did not kill Nazis, because it shows the amount of arsenic used should have been fatal to tens of thousands.” [AP]

CLICKBAIT COLUMN: “You’ll never believe what this star of ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ does now” by John Kelly: “A razor-sharp chisel in hand, Zev Zalman “Z.Z.” Ludwick leans into the violin he is making and shaves off a sliver of wood. It curls up, a simulacrum of the Hasidic curls — payot — that hang on either side of his bearded face. Classical music plays over the radio in the basement workshop of his Silver Spring, Md., home… One day in 1986, a shirtless, suspendered and doubtless chemically altered Z.Z. — then known as Robbie Ludwick — was partying outside the Capital Centre before a Judas Priest concert when filmmakers Jeff Krulik and John Heyn happened by. His drunken enthusiasm for the band earned Z.Z. a spot in their cult documentary “Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” When Z.Z. gets into something, he gets into it. In 2001, he experienced a reawakening of his Jewish heritage. In 2006, he embraced Hasidic Judaism.” [WashPost]

“Sympathy for Anthony Weiner” by Michael Brendan Dougherty: “We are supposed to find it shocking that Weiner can’t quit this vice, especially because he has been caught and embarrassed by it so often. But why? Don’t we all know people who have trouble controlling their vices, no matter how much havoc it wreaks on their lives and on the people who surround them? Somewhere out there, you know or are related to someone who wrecked his life with debt, food, sex, drugs, or booze. His life came apart. He may have lost the love and respect of his closest family members… So why do we feign surprise with Anthony Weiner?” [TheWeek]

BIRTHDAYS: Owner of thoroughbred race horses including the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Ahmed Zayat turns 54… Howard Crim… Television and film actor, performer, director and producer, Larry Hankin turns 76… World reknowned violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman turns 71… Screenwriter for television and film, Lowell Ganz turns 68… Nobel laureate and professor of Physics at California Institute of Technology, Hugh David Politzer turns 67… New York Times reporter covering the 2016 presidential campaign, Thomas Kaplan… Professor of Journalism at American U and author of six books on marriage and relationships, Iris Krasnow turns 62… Account Director at Racepoint Global, Nick Horowitz… Communications Director for Making Change at Walmart, Jess Levin… Contributing Network Editor at The Forward, Laura Adkins… Neil Alpert, an RNC and AIPAC alum and now CEO of LaserLock Technologies (h/t Playbook)…

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