Sean Spicer's Living His Best Life: Spicey riding that Hollywood high

Friday, September 15, 2017
Frank "FX" Giaccio, 11, gets a pat on the back from President Donald Trump while mowing the grass Friday in the Rose Garden of the White House. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sean Spicer's Living His Best Life: Spicey riding that Hollywood high

Obama Beams In For Rihanna Charity Benefit: Former POTUS calls singer "a powerful force" at her Diamond Ball

Street Art Sighting: Shepard Fairey did the album art for Prophets of Rage's anti-Trump album

Kate Bennett

What the White House is Talking About:
President Trump this afternoon heads to Joint Base Andrews to visit with troops and watch an air fleet demonstration. Melania Trump joins him and will make her own remarks to military families on the base during a solo stop at the children's center. 

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:
Trump's back on the Twitter machine, tweeting this morning a series of thoughts about the London Tube explosion. 

Here's what Trump told reporters at the White House about London: 
"It is at terrible thing. It just keeps going and going, and we have to be very smart. We have to be very, very tough -- perhaps we are not nearly tough enough." He added he was going into the Oval Office to call British Prime Minister Theresa May. The call was likely uncomfortable because May wasn't happy about Trump's earlier tweets

Also, North Korea:
I feel like everywhere I go, people are talking about "What's going to happen with North Korea?" especially after another missile deployment last night. Can't imagine there will be a more pressing topic for next week's UN General Assembly meetings in New York. 

Today at 1:15 for the briefing, Sarah Sanders will be joined by NSA H.R. McMaster and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to discuss the most recent provocation.

Kid Writes Letter, Gets to Mow Lawn:
Today, 11-year-old Frank Giaccio, who wrote a letter to Trump several months ago about wanting to meet the President and mow the White House lawn, got to do just that today. Giaccio mowed the grass of the White House Rose Garden. He could barely see over the lawnmower handlebars, but he got the job done. Afterward, he made a brief stop in the press room with Sarah Sanders -- reporters noted he was sweaty. Frank was asked if he would mow the lawns of some of the media, to which Sanders replied, "Make sure these guys pay you top dollar. Tell them if you're part of the press, you have a special deal that's double the normal rate, all right? I think that's pretty fair."
Credit: @markknoller/Twitter

Sorry, but any news from the Pence family rabbit gets an immediate siren -- that's a COVER/LINE rule. On his Instagram page, Bundo says Charlotte Pence ("Mom") wrote the words and Karen Pence ("Grandma") did the watercolor illustrations, because calling humans Mom and Grandma is totally normal for this bunny. The book, "Marlon Bundo's A Day in the Life of the Vice President," comes out in March.
Credit: @marlonbundo/Instagram

Our Daily Melania:
The first lady served as hostess to about 90 guests at last night's black-tie dinner at the White House honoring the White House Historical Association. She was introduced by her husband, who called her "the star of the Trump family." He also said America is a fan: "They love her out there ... they're loving Melania." When she took the podium, Melania said she was honored to carry on the tradition of supporting the WHHA, started in 1961 by Jacqueline Kennedy. The first lady also appeared enamored with living in the White House, saying, "Our family's appreciation for this home grows each and every day."  

Guests dined on a healthy(ish) menu of late-summer squash velouté with blue cheese brioche, potato-crusted Dover sole with chive dumplings and leek fondue, with nectarine tart for dessert. 

Additionally, the first lady spoke about her visit to storm-ravaged Florida earlier in the day, with kind words for the first responders and survivors who had lost everything. "I have seen the true spirit of this nation," she said, reading from a prepared speech, "an unwavering commitment to overcome." Melania's taking bolder steps this week, and her practice with public (or private) speaking should lead up well to a couple of events she has later this month, including her first solo international trip to Canada for the Invictus Games. 

Hillary Clinton Tickets in DC Selling for $$$$:
Guys, chill, seriously, because tickets to see Hillary Clinton at the Warner Theatre on Monday are now selling for $900; they originally were on sale for between $55 and $75. That's an insane markup for ticket re-sale. The DC visit is part of her book tour to promote, "What Happened," her memoir of the 2016 election cycle
Sean Spicer's Living His Best Life:
He was so good, the band got bumped. That's the word going around about Sean Spicer's Wednesday appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which lasted three entire segments and was a ratings bonanza -- higher than any other night for that show in six months. Right now, Spicer's riding that Hollywood high, experiencing the surreal politics-pop culture mash-up that sometimes happens when the stars align. He was spotted this morning having breakfast at Seasons at the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown with George Will. 

Dress Like the First Lady:
Melania went back to a favorite evening wear designer, Monique Lhuillier, for the WHHA event. She wore this sparkly embroidered gown -- with cape! -- which retails for $7,995 and as of this morning was almost sold out on the designer's website
Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images;
NYFW Said 'Melania' To Me:
Fashion week for the Spring/Summer 2018 season just wrapped in New York, and maybe it's me, but I couldn't help but see influences all over the place that reminded me of Melania Trump. Belts were *the* accessory of the season, and tailored suiting is back, big time. Both are favorites of the first lady. Here are just a handful of examples: 
Credit: (l to r), courtesy Michael Kors Collection; courtesy The Row; courtesy Gabriela Hearst; courtesy Carolina Herrera; courtesy Zimmermann 

From Michael Kors Collection's white-belted number to the silver-trench situation from The Row and window-pane pattern (a Melania fave) via Gabriela Hearst, I think the first lady's influence is pretty clear, whether conscious or not. Even venerable American designer Carolina Herrera opted to add a wide belt to at least two of her classic gown looks that came down the runway, and brands not into minimalism, i.e. Zimmermann (far right) jumped on the belted trend with gusto, showing updated fanny packs. Just sayin'.

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington is Talking About:
Tomorrow's the day, it's almost here. Who's ready for the Juggalo March?

What America is Talking About:
President Trump's complaining about the media again, but now, it's ESPN. The network allegedly tried to pull host Jemele Hill, who called Trump a white supremacist on Twitter, and reached out to two other black hosts to take her place, but they declined, per Think Progress. ESPN denied asking any other anchors to fill in for Hill.

Poll of the Day:
A majority of Americans support military action against North Korea, according to a Gallup poll. The poll found 58% support military action, including more than eight out of 10 Republicans, and a majority of independents.
Credit: Gallup

Schumer on Hot Mic: Trump 'Likes Us':
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's comments about Trump on the Senate floor Thursday were picked up by a microphone. "He likes us," Schumer said. "He likes me, anyway. Here's what I told him. I said, 'Mr. President, you're much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left. If you have to step just in one direction, you're boxed.'"

Obama Beams in For Rihanna Charity Benefit:
Former President Obama delivered a video message during Rihanna's Diamond Ball charity event Thursday in New York City, thanking her for her "great work." "You've become a powerful force," he said. Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation -- named for her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite -- funds education, health and other programs internationally.
Credit: @sbrepublic_news/Instagram

DJTJ Tweets About How to Not be 'Alpha':
Actor Jon Hamm told The New York Times he was at a 2015 SNL after-party also attended by then-candidate Trump and Bill O'Reilly, and he said, "They both do that tall-dude thing, which is to try to intimidate you. And it doesn't work on me. I'm like, 'I'm as alpha as you. Let's go. You're not going to chest-bump me.' It was a very weird night."

Don Jr. tweeted a link to a Vanity Fair write-up of the line with this helpful "pro tip."
Credit: @DonaldJTrumpJr/Twitter

Thank you, Don Jr. Thank you for teaching us what it means to be an alpha. Thank you so much.

An Inside Look at North Korea:
Our Will Ripley has been to North Korea 15 times in the last three years, and tonight, he has a special on what it's like there, and guys, it looks so good. He talks to a young North Korean wearing a Portland Trailblazers jersey who doesn't know what Portland is and has never met an American, and two others playing a video game in which they kill Americans. "Secret State: Inside North Korea" airs tonight at 10 ET.

'The Vietnam War' Soundtrack:
As promised, here's the playlist to accompany the PBS series, "The Vietnam War," by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. There are only three Bob Dylan songs on it. The series premiers Sunday.

Street Art Sighting:
The supergroup Prophets of Rage, which formed during the 2016 campaign and includes Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and Public Enemy's Chuck D, released its first studio album today full of anti-Trump rock (spin it here). Artist Shepard Fairey made the album art and this print to accompany it; he's selling 600 of them, at $55 a pop.

"Prophets of Rage make powerful music accompanied with compelling messages that have the potential to change people's minds and push them to become more engaged in all things social and political," Fairey wrote.
Credit: Obey Giant

Send me your pics of political street art to, tweet me @hunterschwarz or tag @cnncoverline on Instagram.
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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN's Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.


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