Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: November 16, 2016

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Jared Kushner (L) and Stephen Bannon stand off stage as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Canton, Ohio, U.S., September 14, 2016.
Jared Kushner (L) and Stephen Bannon stand off stage as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Canton, Ohio, U.S., September 14, 2016.Credit: Mike Segar, Reuters

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TOP TALKER: "Donald Trump Requests Security Clearance for Son-in-Law Jared Kushner” by Andrea Mitchell: “Multiple sources tell NBC News Trump received his first briefing on Tuesday and designated both Kushner and Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn as his staff-level companions for the briefings going forward. While Flynn has the necessary security clearance, Kushner does not, and it could take weeks — or even longer — for him to receive it While it's unclear when Kushner would receive security clearance, the legality of such a move is murky as well, as it raises questions about whether Trump is contravening the anti-nepotism law that bars presidents from appointing family members to cabinet positions or formal government jobs.” [NBCNews

John Podhoretz: 
"Suddenly I feel like defending Trump. So he asked if Jared could get security clearance. Why the hell can't he ASK?" [Twitter

"Trump Transition Slows as Kushner Said to Oust Christie Allies" by Jennifer Jacobs:
"Power struggles inside Donald Trump’s transition team are hobbling efforts to form a new government -- including what some say is an effort by the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to clear out the ranks of loyalists to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christie in 2004 prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles, for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions." [Bloomberg]

"Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray" by Julie Hirschfeld, Mark Mazzetti and Maggie Haberman: 
"Prominent American allies were in the meantime scrambling to figure out how and when to contact Mr. Trump. At times, they have been patched through to him in his luxury office tower with little warning... President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt was the first to reach Mr. Trump for such a call last Wednesday, followed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel not long afterward. But that was about 24 hours before Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain got through." [NYTimes

-- Trump's morning tweetstorm:
 "The failing NY Times story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly. Also, I have spoken to many foreign leaders. I have recieved and taken calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing NYtimes said... I am always available to them. NY Times is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me." [Twitter

"This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World" by J. Lester Feder: "The soon-to-be White House chief strategist laid out a global vision in a rare 2014 talk, one where he said racism in the far right gets “washed out” and called Vladimir Putin a kleptocrat. BuzzFeed News publishes the complete transcript for the first time." [BuzzFeed]

“Steve Bannon to Attend ZOA Annual Gala in NY” by Jacob Kornbluh: “ZOA President Mort Klein told Jewish Insider that Bannon was offered to speak at the dinner but no arrangements have been made at this point. “I think Bannon was grateful that I defended him against this ludicrous charge of anti-Semitism,” Klein said. “That’s why he is coming, I guess.”  Trump’s Israel advisors, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, are also expected to attend, according to Klein.” [JewishInsider

Bernie Marcus, Home Depot co-founder and RJC board member, emails... 
“I have known Steve Bannon for years. I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve. Nothing could be further from the truth. The person that is being demonized in the media is not the person I know. These attacks on Steve are nothing more than an attempt to undermine the incoming Trump Administration. I have known Steve to be a passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel who felt so strongly about this that he opened a Breitbart office in Israel to ensure that the true pro-Israel story would get out. What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda.”

"Iran's top leaders move to calm concerns over Trump election" by Nasser Karimi:"President Hassan Rouhani said the country will remain committed and loyal to the deal, regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran was indifferent to the result of the U.S. vote, insisting the Iranian nation was "not worried" about the future and was ready for any fallout from the U.S. election." [AP]

“House reauthorizes Iran sanctions bill, sets Syria sanctions” by Patricia Zengerle: “The House of Representatives voted 419 to one for a 10-year reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act... It must still be passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama in order to become law. "Even after a hard-fought election here at home and power changing hands, American leadership on the global stage won't falter," said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a bill sponsor. There was no immediate word from Senate leaders on when the ISA... might be taken up in that chamber.” [Reuters

AIPAC in statement: “Congress, along with the current and incoming administrations, must exercise robust oversight of Iran's behavior and respond to violations of the JCPOA, U.S. law or United Nations Security Council resolutions with certain, swift and severe penalties.”

HEARD YESTERDAY -- Netanyahu discusses possible UN Resolution and Trump in live satellite Q&A session at the GA: “One thing is certain, that trying to impose peace from the outside won't. So I very much hope that President Obama will continue the policy that he enunciated, which wasn't only his policy. It was the longstanding policy of the United States, and I look forward also to working with President-Elect Trump when he becomes President and his administration to further the twin interests of peace and security. These are interests of Israel and the United States but they'll be achieved by direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions.” [JewishInsider

"Lieberman: Israel Should Reach Deal With Trump" by Barak Ravid: "Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told journalists Wednesday that Israel should try and reach a deal with the Trump administration according to which Israel will freeze construction in isolated West Bank settlements in return to U.S. recognition of the settlement blocs and give its consent to construction within them. Lieberman also stated that Trump's advisors conveyed messages to Israel over the past few days asking that Israel refrain from establishing facts on the ground before the new president enters office." [Haaretz]

“Trump donated toward settlement evacuees” by Ofer Petersburg: “Trump assisted the Israeli government to establish infrastructure for new communities for Israelis being evacuated from the settlements in the Sinai in the1980s and from Gaza in 2005, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned According to various estimations, Trump’s financial donations amounted to millions of shekels It also turns out that the tycoon-turned-politician contributed some of his wealth in 1980 toward evacuating settlements in the Sinai and his name appears on a list of donors in the Hevel Shalom region which absorbed the evacuees from Sinai and Gaza.” [Ynet

TRANSITION WATCH: “Trump faces growing tension with key Republicans over national security issues” by Jerry Markon: “A former U.S. official with ties to the Trump team described the ousters of Rogers and others as a “bloodletting of anybody that associated in any way on the transition with Christie,” and said that the departures were engineered by two Trump loyalists who have taken control of who will get national security posts in the administration: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner [Eliot] Cohen, who last week had urged career officials to serve in Trump’s administration, said in an interview that a longtime friend and senior transition team official had asked him to submit names of possible national security appointees. After he suggested several people, Cohen said, his friend emailed him back in terms he described as “very weird, very disturbing It was accusations that ‘you guys are trying to insinuate yourselves into the administrationall of YOU LOST.’it became clear to me that they view jobs as lollipops, things you give out to good boys and girls,” said Cohen.”

-- “Cohen also said the transition official was “completely dismissive” of concerns raised about Trump’s appointment of Bannon, who Trump’s advisors have strongly defended. His friend’s email conveyed the feeling that ‘we’re so glad to see the bicoastal elites get theirs,’” added Cohen.”[WashPost

“Power battles bog down Trump transition” by Eli Stokols: “According to two sources inside Trump Tower, the president-elect himself was leaning toward naming Bannon as chief of staff—until Kushner stepped in, raising concerns about putting the anti-establishment, alt-right figure in a position that holds so much symbolic and strategic importance  In the 48 hours since the announcement, the firestorm of criticism over the Bannon appointment—exactly what Kushner was worried about and attempted to blunt by giving him a title other than chief of staff—has dominated the nation’s airwaves.”[Politico

"Law Prof Alan Dershowitz: ‘No Evidence’ That Steve Bannon is Anti-Semitic" by Rachel Stockman: 
“The only evidence is testimony of angry wife which he disputes,” Dershowitz told, “I haven’t seen any evidence of anti-Semitism at Breitbart either.” [LawNewz

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach publishes an open letter to ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt about Bannon:
 "Even the ADL opposed the Iran deal and Breitbart stood with the pro-Israel community in making the argument against an agreement that legally gives Iran nuclear weapons in little over a decade." [TheHill]  Boteach was spotted yesterday at Trump Tower for the second straight day[Pic]

Rosie Gray: 
"Scooplet: sources close to the ADL say over the last week they've taken in 50x the normal number of donations, more than 80% new donors." [Twitter

“Secretary of State Giuliani? He’s the Leading Choice, Trump Aides Say” by Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman: “Mr. Giuliani is not the only candidate for secretary of state, people close to the transition said... Mr. Giuliani appears to be lobbying aggressively for the State Department position, and Mr. Trump seems inclined to reward his loyalty.” [NYTimes

“Donald Trump’s Transition Team Reshaped” by Michael Bender, Damian Paletta and Jay Solomon: “Frank Gaffney, a Reagan administration veteran, was brought in to assist on national security issues Giuliani was targeted by Kentucky Sen.Rand Paul. The Republican senator, who has tried to block previous presidential appointments, criticized the former New York mayor for calling for the bombing of Iran in 2015. He also said he opposed former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who was also under consideration for the job. The pair represents “the most bellicose interventionist wing of any party,” Mr. Paul told Reason magazine.” [WSJ]  Meet Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim gadfly reportedly advising Donald Trump’s transition team [WashPost]

“Senator Lindsey Graham Says He Would Support Rudy Giuliani as Trump's Secretary of State” by Joe Perticone: “John Bolton and I‘ve been friends for 20 years. If he picks John Bolton, then I would support John Bolton. If he picks Rudy, I’d support Rudy because I think both of them are competent and capable.” [IJR

Eva Moskowitz for Secretary of Education? -- "Trump and Pence also discussed Success Academy boss and charter school champion Eva Moskowitz as a possible education secretary. A source with knowledge of the situation told the Daily News that a Moskowitz appointment had “been floated but was not going to happen.”" [DailyNews]

“Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn join Donald Trump's inauguration team” by Fredreka Schouten: “Lew Eisenberg, who helped lead joint fundraising for Trump's general-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, is joining Texas businessman Roy Bailey as finance co-chairmen of the group. [Steve] Wynn, [Sheldon] Adelson and his physician wife Miriam Adelson are among 17 "finance vice chairs" announced Tuesday. Others include gambling titan Phil Ruffin, Wisconsin roofing magnate Diane Hendricks... Florida real-estate developer Mel Sembler and Gail Icahn, wife of billionaire investor Carl Icahn former RNC finance chairman Ron Weiser and Laurie J. Perlmutter, the wife of Marvel Entertainment chief executive Isaac Perlmutter, who gave $5 million to a pro-Trump super PAC days before the election. ” [USATodayWashPost

Jeffrey Katzenberg Pens Open Letter to Hollywood After Trump Victory: 
"He's made statements and appointments that are concerning and troubling, but clearly there is a different tone and demeanor. This gives us some reason to believe that President Trump may be more reasonable than Candidate Trump." [THR

“Democrats move to more aggressive stance against Trump” by Abby Phillip and John Wagner: “Debate about the best way forward consumed a group of top donors, such as billionaire investor George Soros, who gathered for a three-day meeting this week at a luxury hotel in Washington. Soros told fellow liberal donors on Tuesday that he believes Trump is a would-be dictator, adding that he was confident that America’s institutions would serve as a check on the new president’s power — as long as a vigorous opposition is in place to push back against his policies, according to someone familiar with his remarks. In a question-and-answer session with Democracy Alliance President Gara LaMarche, the billionaire investor ticked off a list of urgent priorities for the left, including protecting Muslims and refugees who could be targeted by the new administration and strengthening groups that could challenge Trump on constitutional issues.” [WashPost

“Top Dem donor: Back people of color in leadership races” by Ken Vogel and Daniel Strauss: “[Susan] Sandler, who serves on the board of the Democracy Alliance club of major liberal donors, on Sunday emailed club members and other major contributors, urging them to focus on “changing the composition and character of who we lift up to run for office and to be decision makers in our campaigns” so that Democrats are better able to reach the “people of color and progressive whites that elected Barack Obama twice to turn out in large numbers.” Sandler, in the email, went on to describe a new group she’s launching called Democracy in Color, which will aim to “make the Democratic Party more accountable and effective.”” [Politico]

“Schumer under pressure to add Sanders to leadership team” by Alexander Bolton:“Sanders’s allies say he would be a good choice for the third-ranking position because he had phenomenal success mobilizing voters during the Democratic presidential primaries. That showed he knows how to put together a message that resonates, they argue.” [TheHill]  Some Jewish Leaders Question Schumer’s Backing Of Israel Critic Rep. Keith Ellison For DNC Chair [CBSNewYork]

“A $2 billion election, by the numbers” by Eli Watkins: “The other largest Democratic donors after him were Donald Sussman and Fred Eychaner, who dropped $39,134,400 and $34,274,991, respectively. The three largest Republican donors were Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson with $47,357,200, GOP powerbroker and Trump ally Robert Mercer with $23,539,900 and Paul Singer with $23,027,164.” [CNN

TALK OF THE STATE: "J.B. Pritzker considering run for governor" by Shia Kapos:
 "J.B. Pritzker, once rumored to be in line for a Cabinet job in a Hillary Clinton presidency, has been approached by Democratic leaders about running for Illinois governor. The Chicago venture capitalist is a billionaire and wouldn’t be burdened by financial concerns in competing with Gov. Bruce Rauner, another wealthy Chicago businessman." [SunTimes]

**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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israel Comes to the Aid of the Faltering Palestinian Economy [WSJ]  All3Media, BBC Worldwide Join Barry Diller's Vimeo as Partners [HollywoodReporter]  Glencore Unit in Congo Made Undisclosed Payments to Businessman Accused of Bribery [WSJ]  Josh Kushner's Obamacare Startup, Oscar, Has $45 Million Loss in Three States [Bloomberg]

“Ivanka Trump Blurs the Line Between Professional and Political” by Vanessa Friedman: “A group of journalists received an email from Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the upscale brand Ms. Trump founded in 2007, entitled “Style Alert” and touting “Ivanka Trump wearing her favorite bangle from the Metropolis Collection on ‘60 Minutes.’” A day later, Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said: “This notification was sent by a well-intentioned marketing employee at one of our companies who was following customary protocol, and who, like many of us, is still making adjustments post-election." [NYTimes

SPORTS BLINK: "3 NBA Teams Reportedly Stop Staying At Donald Trump Hotels" by Ron Dicker:
 "The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks will no longer stay at Trump-branded hotels in New York City and Chicago, ESPN reported. Another Eastern Conference team is under contract to stay at the Trump SoHo this season but will switch next year. Both Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry backed Hillary Clinton in the election." [HuffPost]

SPOTTED: "Shaw Crushes Wedding Horah... Just Jewin' It, Baby!" by TMZ Sports: "It went down at the Salter/Markowitz wedding in Miami this weekend ... where Shaq was a guest of Jamie Salter's, the father of the groom and his partner at Authentic Brands Group. We're told the entire party was poppin' until around 2:30 AM (oy vey) and at one point Shaq took to the dance floor -- but instead of his tried-and-true pop-locking routine, he got cultural ... and Horah'd it up." [TMZ]

LongRead: "How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down" by Michael Lewis: "After his book Moneyball became a best-seller, Michael Lewis learned that many of the ideas it presented to the general public had actually been introduced decades earlier by a pair of Israeli psychologists: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. In an adaptation from his new book, Lewis investigates their story, and the intense bond between these radically different men." [VanityFair]

TOP TALKER: "A Call to Prayer, or Noise Pollution? Israel Targets Mosque Loudspeakers" by Peter Baker: "Five times a day, starting well before dawn, these loudspeakers broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer in Lod, a city of Arabs and Jews near Ben-Gurion International Airport, and therein lies one more friction point in a country full of them. One group’s expression of faith is another’s noise pollution, and Israel’s government is planning a crackdown." [NYTimes]

SCENE YESTERDAY on the sidelines of the GA in DC -- Top Federation leaders inscribed several letters into the "Washington Torah," sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and written by Rabbi Faitel Lewin. This is the first Torah ever to be written entirely within Washington, DC as part of the special "Year of Hakhel,” according to Rabbi Levi Shemtov. SPOTTED: Jerry Silverman, Eric Goldstein, Jodi Schwartz, Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie, Cindy Shapira, David Butler, Lee Wunch, Richard Sandler, William and Heidi Daroff. [Pic

BIRTHDAYS: After 15 seasons in the NBA, now an owner and player for Hapoel Jerusalem, Amar'e Stoudemire turns 34... Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition since 1990, Matt Brooksturns 51... Ordained at HUC-JIR, now Dean of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, Justus Baird... Roxanne White... Susan Brooks... Senior Fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, Michael A. Levi...

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