Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Pompeo sure does seem to trust the Saudis: “Saudi Arabia has pledged to hold senior officials accountable if they are implicated in the disappearance and alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.”
* This won’t go well: “On the heels of a new Treasury Department report showing a 17 percent rise in the annual federal budget deficit, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was asking his Cabinet to propose major belt-tightening. ‘We’re going to be asking for a 5 percent cut from every secretary,’ Trump told reporters, adding ‘if not more.’”
* Trump told the Associated Press yesterday that D.C. lawyer Pat Cipollone will, in fact, serve as his next White House counsel.
* A story we’ve been following: “Prosecutors say they are ready to move ahead with Paul Manafort’s sentencing in Alexandria federal court and would dismiss several outstanding charges against him if told to by Judge T.S. Ellis III. But the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election would like to reserve the right to prosecute Manafort for those crimes again.”
* A burgeoning controversy in the Garden State: “New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is facing a growing scandal surrounding his administration’s decision to hire a former campaign aide for a state job despite an allegation of sexual assault.”
* Seven million job openings are a lot: “The United States has a record number of job openings, another sign workers have greater opportunity to find better jobs, according to new data the Labor Department released Tuesday.”
* I hope you saw Rachel’s coverage of this last night: “Was Gary Hart Set Up? What are we to make of the deathbed confession of the political operative Lee Atwater, newly revealed, that he staged the events that brought down the Democratic candidate in 1987?”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.