NATO Summit Winds Down

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT: The White House described the first day of the NATO summit - Thursday - as a "diagnosis" day, where the leaders laid out and took stock of the top global challenges, from ISIS to ebola. Today they are hashing out and announcing what to do about various challenges as an alliance, according to ABC's DEVIN DWYER. Administration officials say to expect some newsworthy developments - plans of action - on ISIS and Ukraine, the two major agenda items here. President Obama holds a solo news conference at 11:30 am ET.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: A new round of U.S. and European sanctions against Russia could be announced as soon as today, with NATO leaders looking to respond more forcefully to the crisis in Ukraine while reassuring allies with a new rapid-response force based in Eastern Europe, White House officials said. U.S. officials have also hinted that a coalition of countries, though not NATO itself, will unveil new steps to bolster Iraqi security forces and Kurds, but there's no indication that a stepped-up airstrike campaign in Syria is imminent against the militant Islamist group ISIS.
  • THIS WEEK ON 'THIS WEEK': On Sunday, "This Week" covers the latest on the threat from ISIS. Plus, the powerhouse roundtable debates all the week's politics, with ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, ABC News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, and Yahoo News national political columnist Matt Bai. Check the "This Week" homepage for full guest listings. Be sure to use #ThisWeek when you tweet about the program. Tune in Sunday:


ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: We are just a few days before the nation's final primary and one of the biggest is in New Hampshire where we will finally know the official general election opponent for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Yes, Scott Brown and Shaheen have been going head to head for months now, but Brown still has to win that primary on Tuesday. He battled his two opponents last night in a Granite State debate on ABC affiliate WMUR, but said either of the two, former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith and former New Hampshire state Sen. Jim Rubens would be preferable to Shaheen. Despite what will likely be a bloody fight to November Brown even had some friendly words for Shaheen when asked who from the other side of the aisle he respects. "I respect Senator Shaheen, she cares about our state and our country." he said, "We have different opinions certainly." Smith and Rubens tried to land their final punches against the former Massachusetts senator, but he mainly stayed above the fray even when Smith essentially attacked him as a flip flopper. "Mr. Brown, tear up those talking points. For heaven's sake, you vote with President Obama more than you vote with the Republican Party," Smith said after Brown was asked what votes he regret taking in the Senate. He said none. This race is one of a the closest watched in the country because if Brown wins he could very well help the GOP take the Senate.

ABC's JORDYN PHELPS: Sen. Mary Landrieu is due in court this morning in a case challenging the legitimacy of the Democrat incumbent's residency in Louisiana as she mounts her third bid for reelection. The lawsuit, brought by a former Senate challenger of Landrieu's, alleges that she is no longer a resident of Louisiana, as required for candidates for U.S. Senate, but of Washington, DC. While Landrieu claims her parents' New Orleans home as her permanent residence and the basis for her residency in Louisiana, the three-term incumbent also owns a multi-million home on Capitol Hill. Landrieu's campaign has yet to respond to a request for comment regarding senator's scheduled court appearance, but Landrieu defended her Louisiana residency in a statement to ABC last week, "I have lived at my home on Prieur Street (New Orleans) most of my life and I live there now when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state."



IN VEGAS, HILLARY PUSHES FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT CASINOS. If Hillary Clinton has it her way, every casino in Las Vegas would soon be getting a makeover, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports. During her keynote at the 7th annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas Thursday, Clinton called for companies to retrofit buildings to become more energy efficient, and challenged the city's biggest industry-casinos-to start making the change.

PROPAGANDA VALUE OF ISIS VIDEOS MAY KEEP OBAMA LOOKING AWAY. President Obama is "aware" of the gruesome videotaped executions of two American journalists in Syria at the hands of Islamic State militants but does not want to "put a spotlight" on them with his attention, a senior Obama foreign policy adviser told ABC News, according to ABC's DEVIN DWYER. Asked whether the president has seen the messages directly addressed to him in the videos showing the beheading of Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama is "not interested."

SECRET SERVICE AGENT INJURED AT NATO CASTLE BANQUET. A U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to protect President Obama at the NATO summit in Wales was injured on the job there after a car in the presidential motorcade accidentally rolled over his foot, ABC's DEVIN DWYER reports. After opening a car door, the vehicle moved unexpectedly striking his limb, according to eyewitness Eric Connor, a member of the press pool covering Obama's arrival at an evening banquet for world leaders at the historic Cardiff Castle.

IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL REVVING UP ON CAPITOL HILL DESPITE FEWER CROSSINGS. Immigration overhaul is expected to take front-and-center of the domestic debate when Congress returns to Capitol Hill next week ABC's SERENA MARSHALL notes. Rumors also abound about exactly when President Obama might take executive action on the issue, while White House press secretary Josh Earnest this week offered no update on the timing. Meanwhile, Unaccompanied minors are crossing the border in far fewer numbers than they were just months ago - and A new survey out Wednesday by the Pew Research Center finds more people believe prioritizing border security is important.

MEET THE DISHEVELED WHITE HOUSE STAFFER WHO'S CLEANING UP GOVERNMENT IT. The sloppy look is officially in - even for officials at the White House. Mikey Dickerson, the newly-appointed administrator of the new U.S. Digital Service, a technology corps focused on improving government IT, roams the halls of the West Wing in what might delicately be termed Zuckerbergian attire, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY notes. "People are putting up with me walking around the EEOB and the West Wing just wearing whatever," a rumple-shirted Dickerson said in a video released recently by the White House. In an interview with ABC News, Dickerson, who spent eight years in Silicon Valley before moving to Washington, said: "It's not that there's a problem with anybody wearing suits. It's just that I don't care."

U.S. BELIEVES A DOZEN AMERICANS ARE FIGHTING WITH ISIS IN SYRIA. The U.S. believes that about a dozen Americans are fighting with ISIS in Syria, part of a larger group of more than 100 Americans who have joined various rebel groups in the country, according to ABC's LUIS MARTINE Z. The new estimate was provided by the Pentagon in a clarification of comments made Wednesday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a CNN interview at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

EX-VIRGINIA GOV. BOB MCDONNELL, WIFE GUILTY OF CORRUPTION. A Richmond jury Thursday convicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on 11 of 13 corruption counts , ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE reports. His co-defendant wife Maureen McDonnell was found guilty on nine corruption counts and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from granting favors to a wealthy Virginia businessman in exchange for more than $177,000 worth of lavish gifts, vacations, and loans. The McDonnell family reportedly sobbed as the guilty charges were read.


@PostRoz: McDonnells face years in prison, but probably not decades. A look at what's ahead, including inevitable appeals.

@MarkLandler: #SecKerry on ISIS: "These guys are not 10 feet tall," but "an ambitious, genocidal, territorial-grabbing, Caliphate-desiring quasi-state."

@froomkin: These questions the press should ask before we go to war again are as essential today as they were yesterday: …

@maggiepolitico: Bill Clinton heads to Florida to stump for Crist, most potentially helpful for 2016 that he has done this year …

@NKingofDC: The August jobless rate among men (5.7%), women (5.7%), teenagers (19.6%), whites (5.3%), blacks (11.4%), and Hispanics (7.5%).

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