WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The TAKE with Rick Klein
It does not get, in matters of state, much deeper than this.
The extraordinary anonymous New York Times op-ed by a “senior official in the Trump administration” would be worthy of its own firestorm. Coming on the heels of disclosures from Bob Woodward’s book, it could provoke a series of explosions – political, yes, though that might only be the beginning.
“This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state,” the anonymous official writes. “It’s the work of the steady state.”
That’s not going to be a distinction Trump accepts. The self-described “adults in the room” might bring out some less mature tendencies in the president they’re purporting to control.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Forget flipping Republicans.
Wednesday closed out with two red state Democrats signaling they may vote to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia were asked by reporters if they had heard anything disqualifying in Kavanaugh’s performance so far.
They both said: “No.”
Kavanaugh spent most of his confirmation hearing Wednesday skirting key questions on whether a president can be indicted while in office, how he would rule on abortion questions and whether he would rescue himself in cases regarding this current president’s potential personal criminal or civil liabilities.
It’s worth noting that both Heitkamp and Manchin voted for Trump’s last Supreme Court nominee and -- although both are up for re-election this fall -- neither faced primary challengers this election cycle.
Maybe progressives and those Democrats eager to resist this White House now regret not raising more opposition in redder states like Heitkamp’s and Manchin’s.
Interestingly, in a blue state, Democratic Sen. Tom Carper is facing a tough primary challenge from Kerri Evelyn Harris, an Air Force veteran and LGBT community activist.
She has the backing of many of the same groups who supported other successful, progressive, insurgent candidates this primary season, including Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The TIP with Ali Rogin
Despite sitting next to President Trump Wednesday while he swung the door wide open on a government shutdown over immigration, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists it’s not happening.
“No chance of a government shutdown,” he said on Fox News’ “Special Report.”
“Zero?” anchor Brett Baier asked.
“Zero,” replied McConnell.
And the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions? McConnell said he’s a “huge supporter” and “hope[s] he stays where he is.”
Meanwhile, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, appearing on CNN, predicted that bombshell New York Times op-ed by a senior Trump official would have limited influence outside the Beltway where, he says, the president would be judged by his accomplishments.
“Palace intrigue is one thing. Results are another,” Graham said. “I don't mean to bust a bubble here, but most people in South Carolina are not going to take the op-ed in The New York Times very seriously.”
Speaking of palace intrigue, Graham said he would not serve as Trump’s attorney general or secretary of defense, although he jokingly said he might consider doing both at the same time.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
• Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 9:30 a.m. for the third day of his confirmation hearing.
• The president participates in Rosh Hashanah call with Jewish leaders and rabbis from the White House before departing in the afternoon for a rally in Montana.
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi at 9 a.m.
• It’s primary day in Delaware! The ABC News politics team will update with primary results Thursday evening. Find us on ABCNews.com or the ABC News app on your Apple or Android devices.
• Delaware polls open at 7a.m. and close 8 p.m. EDT
• Democratic Sens. Patty Murray, Tammy Duckworth and Tina Smith join women from across the country on Capitol Hill at 11 a.m. to share, they say, what’s at stake if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.
“This is not treason under the Constitution. This is not a treasonous act against the nation. It’s a disloyal and cowardly act against the president.” — GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham on CNN Wednesday, when asked about the anonymous New York Times op-ed by a Trump administration senior official.
ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Thursday morning's episode features a conversation with former Obama administration official Jim Messina on the anonymous New York op-ed about President Trump. “I promise you that John Kelly walked into someone's office and said we've got to figure out who the hell this is and I want a list on my desk by the end of the day,” he says. And we get a recap of Day 2 of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing from ABC’s Trish Turner. https://bit.ly/2Ohkpz8
ICYMI: ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” Podcast. Dan Pfeiffer, former senior advisor to Barack Obama and author of “Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump,” is optimistic about the possibilities for Democrats in the midterms as Obama rejoins the campaign trail next week. https://bit.ly/2w091jE
NEED TO READ
In NYT op-ed, anonymous Trump admin senior official vows to thwart president. The New York Times on Wednesday published an anonymous op-ed attributed to a senior Trump administration official who writes that there is a group of officials working within the administration for the express purpose of thwarting what the author said are dangerous tendencies on the part of the president. (Jordyn Phelps) https://abcn.ws/2MNgPzw
Who wrote it? Ex-Obama official says he would've had to solve NYT op-ed mystery. Jim Messina, former deputy chief of staff to President Obama, told ABC News' "Start Here" podcast it would've been up to him to out the anonymous insider: "I am sure that whoever is the poor fool who had my old job is getting reamed right now by the president of the United States and being told to figure out who the hell this guy is." (Brad Mielke and Kelly Terez) https://abcn.ws/2oIngW2
Shutdown showdown: Trump 'willing to do anything' for border security. With just nine legislative days remaining for Congress to pass legislation to keep the government open, President Donald Trump renewed his threat for a shutdown over border security. (John Parkinson) https://abcn.ws/2Q4vKU5
5 key takeaways from Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Protesters were removed from Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing for a second day on Wednesday as the Supreme Court nominee answered questions on a variety of legal issues for the first time. (Stephanie Ebbs) https://abcn.ws/2PFazH3
Two Roger Stone associates to appear before Mueller grand jury Friday. Two past associates of President Donald Trump ally and veteran political operative Roger Stone are expected to appear before a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. on Friday in response to subpoenas from special counsel Robert Mueller, ABC News has learned. (Ali Dukakis) https://abcn.ws/2M2y7mP
No mention of investigation into alleged Trump campaign, Russia collusion at upcoming Manafort trial. There will be no mention of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia at Paul Manafort’s upcoming federal trial in Washington, D.C., the judge ruled during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday. (Katherine Faulders and Allison Pecorin) https://abcn.ws/2NlMOpT
Twitter, Facebook executives say they've made headway in combating fake user accounts. Top executives from Twitter and Facebook vowed to Congress on Wednesday to continue their internal campaigns to rid their powerhouse social media platforms of inauthentic accounts used to spread misinformation. (Erica Y. King) https://abcn.ws/2ClUbtl
'Justice is blind,' Paul Ryan says; GOP indictments 'isolated incidents.' House Speaker Paul Ryan downplayed the federal indictments of two Republican colleagues as “isolated incidents” while also dismissing President Donald Trump’s public criticism of the charges. (John Parkinson) https://abcn.ws/2Q3amyi
The president and his aides launched a frantic haunt to find the author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed, who claims to be part of a secret “resistance” inside the government protecting the nation from its commander in chief. The Washington Post reports. https://wapo.st/2CoiIOj
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.