NOLAN MCCASKILL: “‘An imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union’: George H.W. Bush honored at state funeral”: “In his eulogy, presidential biographer Jon Meacham described Bush as a man who questioned his life’s purpose after he was spared death when his plane was shot down, but who ultimately became president and governed with the same virtues as George Washington, John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt. …

“Wednesday’s ceremony is officially the first state funeral since former President Gerald Ford died in 2006. But it bears similarities to former Arizona Sen. John McCain’s funeral in September, albeit with one glaring difference: President Donald Trump is welcome. … Bush’s death has brought some civility to an often-divided Washington. Congressional leaders are finalizing a short-term deal to avoid a government shutdown Friday and delay a bitter fight over billions of dollars in funding for Trump’s border wall out of respect for Bush.” POLITICOThe full program


— FORMER SEN. AL SIMPSON (R-WYO.): “Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington are not bothered by heavy traffic.” … “He never hated anyone. … Hatred corrodes the container that it’s carried in.”

— GEORGE W. BUSH: “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

— JON MEACHAM, via @CBSNews: “On the primary campaign trail in New Hampshire once, he grabbed the hand of a department store mannequin asking for votes. When he realized his mistake, he said, ‘Never know. Gotta ask.’”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and the first lady took their seats in a row with BARACK and MICHELLE OBAMA, BILL and HILLARY CLINTON and JIMMY and ROSALYNN CARTER. The Obamas said hello to Melania and President Trump, but the Clintons did not interact with the Trumps.

— WATCH GEORGE AND LAURA BUSH greet the presidents and first ladies. Video, via C-SPAN

SPOTTED at the National Cathedral: Jeb and Columba Bush, Neil Bush, George P. Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, Jim Baker, Brian Mulroney, VP Mike Pence chatting with Al Gore, Karen Pence, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prince Charles, Dan Quayle, Dick and Lynne Cheney, Joe and Jill Biden, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Janna Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Abby Blunt sitting with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) …

… Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House chief of staff John Kelly, Kellyanne Conway, national security adviser John Bolton, Bill Shine, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, HUD Secretary Ben Carson …

… Colin Powell, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Rudy Giuliani, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Cindy McCain, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Matt Schlapp, Ivanka Trump sitting near Chelsea Clinton, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Zach Fuentes, Johnny DeStefano, Greta van Susteren and John Coale, Olympia Snowe, Steve and Jean Case, Fred Ryan, Stewart McLaurin, Henry Kissinger, Karl Rove, Margaret Tutwiler, Leon Panetta, George Tenet, John Brennan, John Sununu, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson, Peyton Manning, Bob Dole, David Rubinstein, Tim and Anita McBride, Brent Scowcroft, Condoleezza Rice and Dana Perino.

SPOTTED at the Omni Shoreham — where some Bush associates are staying — this morning: Andy and the Rev. Kathleene Card, John H. Sununu, John and Diana Negroponte, Dan Evans, Carla Hills, Joe Hagin, David Rubenstein, Sam Donaldson, Dorrance Smith and Ann Compton.

Good Wednesday afternoon. SPOTTED: ROB PORTER at Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) going-away party in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday night.

THE INVESTIGATIONS … “Feds Target Butina’s GOP Boyfriend as Foreign Agent,” by The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff and Erin Banco: “Paul Erickson, a longtime Republican politico whose Russian girlfriend is in jail on charges she acted as a covert foreign agent, has been informed that he may face similar accusations. The Daily Beast reviewed a so-called ‘target letter’ that federal investigators sent Erickson’s lawyer, which said they are considering bringing charges against him under Section 951 of the U.S. code—the law barring people from secretly acting as agents of foreign governments.

“The letter also said the government may bring a conspiracy charge against Erickson, who is the boyfriend of accused foreign agent Maria Butina. … If prosecutors bring the charges named in the letter, Erickson would be the first American charged under a statute Justice Department lawyers describe as ‘espionage-lite.’” The Daily Beast

WHAT’S ON THE PRESIDENT’S MIND — @realDonaldTrump at 8:19 a.m.: “Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina. Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!”

… at 8:44 a.m.: “One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States. It will now be considered a ‘controlled substance.’ This could be a game changer on what is…….”

… at 8:51 a.m.: “…..considered to be the worst and most dangerous, addictive and deadly substance of them all. Last year over 77,000 people died from Fentanyl. If China cracks down on this ‘horror drug,’ using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible!”

… at 9:44 a.m.: “Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!”

TRADE WARS … WSJ: “China Breaks Its Silence on 90-Day U.S. Tariff Truce”: “China’s Commerce Ministry in a statement Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that Beijing on Saturday agreed to a 90-day cease-fire … [T]his week, key government agencies and China’s supreme court announced tough punishments for infringing on intellectual property—a prominent complaint by the Trump administration. …

“Chinese officials have suggested that China will step up purchases of U.S. farm and energy products such as soybeans and natural gas as part of Saturday’s deal. Demand for those products is immense. Still, it’s unclear how large China’s purchases will be.” WSJ

— WSJ’S WILLIAM MAULDIN: “Bush’s Trade Legacy on the Line as Trump Attempts to Replace Nafta”: “The Nafta rewrite shows how far trade politics have shifted—especially within the Republican Party—in the 26 years since Mr. Bush joined Mexican and Canadian counterparts in signing the original treaty.” WSJ

AP’S SCOTT BAUER and TODD RICHMOND: “Wisconsin Republicans weaken incoming Dem governor, AG”

MEANWHILE, IN NORTH CAROLINA … CHARLOTTE OBSERVER ED BOARD: “Hold a new election in NC’s tainted 9th District”: “[W]e do know enough. Unless new evidence somehow clears the clouds hanging over this election, the Board of Elections should toss out the 9th District results. … It should be done with the support of N.C. statutes and without a whiff of partisan politics.” The Charlotte Observer

THE LATEST ON KHASHOGGI … NBC’S JOSH LEDERMAN: “Brother of Saudi Crown Prince returns to the U.S., plans to attend Bush memorial”: “Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Khalid bin Salman, the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has returned to the United States for the first time since the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two individuals with knowledge of his return tell NBC News. Prince Khalid plans to attend former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral on Wednesday.

“Prince Khalid left Washington and flew to Riyadh shortly after news broke of Khashoggi’s disappearance, and hasn’t been back to the U.S. since, as outrage in Washington has mushroomed over the killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He played a key role in the initial cover-up of Khashoggi’s killing, infuriating senators by conveying the official Saudi line that the Washington Post columnist had left the consulate unharmed and that security cameras hadn’t captured his departure because they simply weren’t recording.” NBC

— CAITLIN OPRYSKO: “Mattis and Pompeo were ‘misleading’ in Khashoggi briefing, Murphy says”AP’S ZEYNEP BILGINSOY in Istanbul: “Turkey seeks arrest of 2 former aides to Saudi crown prince”

ON THE WORLD STAGE — “Putin Threatens Arms Race as U.S. Prepares to Exit Nuclear Treaty,” by WSJ’s Thomas Grove in Moscow: “The U.S. has accused Russia of violating the Treaty on Intermediate-range Nuclear Force, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would freeze its commitments under the treaty in 60 days if Russia didn’t return to compliance. Russia denies it has violated the treaty.

“Mr. Putin said Russia would ‘respond appropriately’ if the U.S. withdrew from the agreement and indicated that Moscow would follow through on the development and construction of shorter and intermediate-range weapons if the U.S. sought to construct such weapons.” WSJ

MORE FACEBOOK FALLOUT — “Facebook allegedly offered advertisers special access to users data and activities, according to documents released by British lawmakers,” by WaPo’s Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tony Romm: “A key British lawmaker alleged Wednesday that Facebook maintained ‘whitelisting agreements’ that gave select companies preferential access to valuable user data, echoing a key claim from an app developer that has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the social network in a California court.

“Damian Collins, chairman of a British parliamentary committee that has led a wide-ranging investigation into Facebook and its dealings with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, released a summary of findings along with more than 200 pages of documents Wednesday. Facebook has denied that it offered preferential access to data for major advertisers, as the app developer, Six4Three, has alleged in its suit.” WaPo

— BUZZFEED’S CHARLIE WARZEL and RYAN MAC: “Mark Zuckerberg’s Biggest Problem: Internal Tensions At Facebook Are Boiling Over”: “[One] former senior employee noted a growing sense of paranoia among current employees. … [Sheryl Sandberg] attempted to call [George] Soros last month, within days of the reports about Definers, and left a message after he didn’t pick up. Soros has yet to call her back because he’s been traveling, a source told BuzzFeed News. ‘It appears he’ll be traveling for a while,’ the source said.” BuzzFeed

2020 WATCH — “Race Begins as Democrats Look to Stand Out in Senate Crowds,” by Bloomberg’s Nancy Ognanovich: “Democratic stars such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar return to the Senate next year positioned to use their perches on powerful committees as launching pads for potential 2020 White House bids.

“The problem is, there are only so many high-profile committee postings to go around—and those are doled out by the Senate’s seniority rules, not by who most wants to impress the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s a headache for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), who has the unenviable task of assigning names to these coveted slots.” Bloomberg

THE GUARDIAN’S BEN JACOBS: “Potential Democratic candidate aims to block Manchin from top environmental position”: “Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, is launching a petition to demand that Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, block Manchin from serving as the top Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. …

“Inslee has positioned himself as a vocal advocate for taking action on climate change while Manchin famously ran a television ad where he shot a copy of the cap and trade bill when he first ran for Senate in 2010. … The effort shows Inslee making an effort to appeal to … progressives as a potential ‘climate candidate’ if he chooses to run in 2020.” The Guardian

WHAT NIKKI HALEY IS UP TO — POST AND COURIER’S ANDY SHAIN: “Nikki Haley sells SC home, plans to stay in New York, reportedly writing book”

AT 1600 PENN … “Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up,” by The Daily Beast’s Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay: “Sources close to the president say he has repeatedly shrugged it off, implying that he doesn’t have to worry about the money owed to America’s creditors—currently about $21 trillion—because he won’t be around to shoulder the blame when it becomes even more untenable. …

“Those close to Trump say that one reason the issue of debt reduction has never been an animating one for him is because he is convinced that it can be solved through means other than tax hikes or sharp spending reductions.” The Daily Beast

WAPO’S AMY GOLDSTEIN: “Trump administration threatens future of HIV research hub”: “The turmoil over the National Institutes of Health contract with the University of California at San Francisco is part of a building battle between conservatives opposed to research using fetal tissue and scientists who say the material is vital to developing new therapies for diseases from AIDS to Parkinson’s. …

“Last week, an NIH contracting official told the principal investigator at UCSF that the government was ending the seven-year contract midstream and that the decision was coming from the ‘highest levels’ … Five days later, the university received a letter from the AIDS division of NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases saying the government would continue the contract for 90 days rather than the expected year-long renewal.” WaPo

MEDIAWATCH — Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli is launching a new radio show, “Sound On with Kevin Cirilli,” daily at 5 p.m. Bloomberg radio and iHeartRadio, which will go national in January. Guests this week include Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Corey Lewandowski, Carly Fiorina and former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan.

HOLIDAY PARTY CIRCUIT — SPOTTED at the National Retail Federation’s party on Tuesday night: Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Ron Estes (R-Kan.) and Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), Peter Larkin, Rick Helfenbein, Jim McCarthy, Gloria Dittus, Brian Donahue, Matt Gorman, Brandon Fried, Steve Danon, Armstrong Robinson, Lou Hayden, Mike Ward, Josh Holmes, Blair Holmes, Larry Burton, Cyrus Artz, Melissa Froelich, Kevin Hardardt and Eileen Ramage.

TRANSITION — Jon Selib will be SVP of global policy at Pfizer. He previously was a partner at Hakluyt & Company and served as chief of staff to former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.).

WEEKEND WEDDINGS — Hayley Milon, a freelance journalist, married Justin Bour, a free-agent first baseman in the MLB who was with the Phillies last season. Pic

— HILLARY ALUMNI: Katelyn Jackson, director of community partnerships at Coca-Cola, married Chibundu Nnake, manager of public policy and advocacy at FOCUS DC and a Hillary 2016 alum. Pic

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