Good Tuesday morning. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN INTEL YOU CAN USE … THE GOVERNMENT shuts down the day after tomorrow. Neither chamber has passed a bill, and House Democrats plan to leave town tomorrow for their retreat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It’s remarkable how Washington keeps the government of the world’s largest economy running on four-week intervals. Anyway …
— THE HOUSE is going to vote on a bill today to fund the government until March 23, while funding community health centers for two years and boosting defense spending for the full year. THIS WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY PASS THE HOUSE, because the House Freedom Caucus — which vowed to vote against more stopgap bills — will support it.
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— THE SENATE won’t much care about the House bill. At the same time, though, the Senate is voting to move onto a separate full-year defense spending bill — something the House requested during the last government shutdown fight. PUT SUCCINCTLY: Congress is really nowhere in staving off a government shutdown at the moment. The two chambers are, again, at loggerheads.
— WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Senate is going to change whatever the House sends them. BEST CASE SCENARIO FOR REPUBLICANS: The Senate will couple the bill to avoid a shutdown with a big-time deal to boost spending levels — known as a “caps deal” — and a disaster spending bill. The strategy is still in flux, but this move would, theoretically, make the stopgap spending bill somewhat attractive to both parties, and could help move Washington toward a yearlong spending deal. SMALL-BORE STRATEGY: The Senate simply rips out the House’s full year of defense funding, and sends it back to Speaker Paul Ryan, leaving it up to him to avoid a shutdown.
— LINGERING QUESTION: Can Congress squeeze something through that allows Democrats to bounce to the Eastern Shore? Seems unlikely that their trip won’t be disrupted in some way. A government shutdown does not seem likely at this point. Expect a small dose of panic. That being said, it’s not entirely certain Washington doesn’t stumble into a second shutdown this year.
BARELY REGISTERING A BLIP — The debt limit needs to be lifted by early next month. Hardly anyone is talking about this.
STORY OF THE DAY — MIKE SCHMIDT and MAGGIE HABERMAN on NYT A1: “Trump’s Lawyers Want Him to Refuse an Interview in Russia Inquiry”: “His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators. Their stance puts them at odds with Mr. Trump, who has said publicly and privately that he is eager to speak with Mr. Mueller as part of the investigation into possible ties between his associates and Russia’s election interference, and whether he obstructed justice.
“Mr. Trump’s decision about whether to speak to prosecutors, expected in the coming weeks, will shape one of the most consequential moments of the investigation. Refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility that Mr. Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, setting up a court fight that would drastically escalate the investigation and could be decided by the Supreme Court.” http://nyti.ms/2EpCtVH
WOWZA — GARRETT GRAFF in Wired, “Bob Mueller’s Investigation is Larger – and Farther Along – Than You Think”: “We speak about the ‘Mueller probe’ as a single entity, but it’s important to understand that there are no fewer than five (known) separate investigations under the broad umbrella of the special counsel’s office … it’s important to understand the different ‘buckets’ of Mueller’s probe. … 1. Preexisting Business Deals and Money Laundering. … 2. Russian Information Operations. … 3. Active Cyber Intrusions. … 4. Russian Campaign Contacts. … 5. Obstruction of Justice. …
“We also know there’s significant relevant evidence that’s not yet public: Both [Michael] Flynn and [George] Papadopoulos traded cooperation and information as part of their respective plea deals, and none of the information that they provided has become public yet. … All of these pieces of public evidence, the ‘known knowns,’ point to one conclusion: Bob Mueller has a busy few weeks ahead of him—and the sturm und drang of the last week will likely only intensify as more of the investigation comes into public view.” http://bit.ly/2E7TjJe
MORE MEMO FALLOUT — “The Times Asks Court to Unseal Documents on Surveillance of Carter Page,” by NYT’s Charlie Savage and Adam Goldman: “The New York Times is asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unseal secret documents related to the wiretapping of Carter Page, the onetime Trump campaign adviser at the center of a disputed memo written by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee. The motion is unusual. No such wiretapping application materials apparently have become public since Congress first enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978.” http://nyti.ms/2C230De
— “Republicans concede key FBI ‘footnote’ in Carter Page warrant,” by Kyle Cheney: “Republican leaders are acknowledging that the FBI disclosed the political origins of a private dossier the bureau cited in an application to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, undermining a controversial GOP memo released Friday and fueling Democratic demands to declassify more information about the bureau’s actions. At issue is whether the federal probe into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties is infected with political bias, as Republicans say — or whether the GOP is using deceitful tactics to quash the probe, as Democrats insist.
“Democrats pounced on public comments over the past day by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and intelligence committee member Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), arguing that the GOP memo’s failure to mention a key footnote in the FBI application shows how the party has cherry-picked classified facts to protect President Donald Trump.” http://politi.co/2BWPccR
— CNN’S KARA SCANNELL and “MOSCOW” MANU RAJU: “Source: Bannon not expected to appear before House Intel Tuesday despite subpoena”: “Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is not expected to appear before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday, risking being held in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena, according to a source close to the process.
“Escalating a tense standoff with the panel, Bannon isn’t planning on showing up because the White House and committee haven’t reached an agreement over the scope of the questioning, the source said.” http://cnn.it/2BZ8nmu
TRUMP ANTI-FBI, DOJ MESSAGING WORKING — “Most Republicans believe FBI, Justice Dept. trying to ‘delegitimize’ Trump: Reuters/Ipsos poll,” by Reuters’ Chris Kahn: “Nearly three out of four Republicans believe the FBI and Justice Department are trying to undermine U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday, a sharp turn for a party that has historically been a strong backer of law enforcement agencies. Overall, most of the public still believes that Trump or someone from his campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, allegations that Moscow and Trump have repeatedly denied.” http://reut.rs/2BGjXr5
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GOOD SCOOP — WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE … — “White House Official Called Trump ‘a Deplorable,’” by NYMag’s Olivia Nuzzi: “Before joining the Trump administration, the White House principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, called President Donald Trump ‘a deplorable’ and referred to the release of the Access Hollywood tape as ‘some justice,’ according to private messages independently obtained and verified by New York. Shah, who worked at the [RNC] during the 2016 election, also asked an RNC colleague [Andy Hemming] to dig up an old video clip of Trump that shortly afterward showed up in a Jeb Bush commercial. … The communications obtained by New York provide a window into the complex drama of the Trump White House, where the operatives who serve at the pleasure of the outsider president have in the past expressed contempt for him — and sometimes still do.” http://nym.ag/2sd3fLN
— PLAYBOOK TRUTH BOMB: Of course this is really embarrassing for Raj. But most people in and around politics know that many of the people who work for Trump have dogged him even worse than this. Spend a day on Capitol Hill and you’ll hear Republican elected officials who publicly say they adore Trump spit unthinkable invective off the record.
WHAT KELLYANNE’S BEEN UP TO — “Kellyanne Conway’s ‘opioid cabinet’ sidelines drug czar’s experts,” by Brianna Ehley and Sarah Karlin-Smith: “President Donald Trump’s war on opioids is beginning to look more like a war on his drug policy office. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has taken control of the opioids agenda, quietly freezing out drug policy professionals and relying instead on political staff to address a lethal crisis claiming about 175 lives a day. The main response so far has been to call for a border wall and to promise a ‘just say no’ campaign. …
“The office’s acting director, Rich Baum, who had served in the office for decades before Trump tapped him as the temporary leader, has not been invited to Conway’s opioid cabinet meetings, according to his close associates. His schedule, obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, included no mention of the meetings. Two political appointees from Baum’s office, neither of whom are drug policy experts, attend on the office’s behalf, alongside officials from across the federal government, from HHS to Defense. A White House spokesperson declined to disclose who attends the meetings, and Baum did not respond to a request for comment, although the White House later forwarded an email in which Baum stressed the office’s central role in developing national drug strategy.” http://politi.co/2nOTNZB
BEN WHITE — “‘The president clearly set himself up’: Trump’s stock market miscalculation”: “President Donald Trump is learning a basic and painful lesson of Wall Street: Stocks also go down. A global market sell-off accelerated Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging nearly 1,600 points at one point in roller-coaster afternoon trading. After a volatile session, the Dow ended down 1,175 points, or 4.6%, at 24,346. It was the largest ever single-day point drop for the Dow and it rattled both Wall Street and Washington, abruptly ending a remarkable period of placid markets where it often seemed the only direction was up. A young generation of Wall Street traders has never seen the kind of whipsaw action that seized markets Monday.” http://politi.co/2EH47Lj
— DAY AHEAD… DIP SPREADS TO EUROPE — FT, by Michael Hunter and Alex Samson in London and Emma Dunkley in Kuala Lumpur: “A rout swept through European and Asian stock markets in the wake of the biggest sell-off on Wall Street in six years as a sudden burst of turmoil shattered the long period of calm. …
“European bourses followed suit in early trading and were on track for their worst day since the aftermath of Britain’s vote in 2016 to leave the EU. London’s FTSE 100 lost 3.5 per cent in opening trade, with every constituent falling and financial stocks hit hardest at the sector level. The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 fell 2.2 per cent, while Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax 30 was down by 3.5 per cent.” http://on.ft.com/2BIElI3
VP MIKE PENCE did not rule out a meeting with North Korea during a stop in Alaska on his way to the Olympics. Per pooler Ashley Parker of the Washington Post, Pence said he had “not requested a meeting, but we’ll see what happens.”
— ON WHETHER HE’LL ENGAGE WITH NORTH KOREA: “Let me say President Trump has said he always believes in talking, but I haven’t requested any meeting. But we’ll see what happens. But my message, whatever the setting, whoever is present, will be the same. And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions and it must accede to the wishes not only of nations across the region and the United States, but nations across the world, to really abandon those ambitions and enter the family of nations. North Korea can have a better future than the militaristic path, the path of provocation and confrontation that it’s on. Better for its own people, better for the region, and better for peace.”
TOUGH TALK ON DEMS MESSAGE PROBLEM — ISAAC DOVERE talks with REP. JOE KENNEDY (D-MASS.) in the latest “Off Message” Podcast: “Democrats are really good at finding some smart people that can run some regressions and say, ‘Here’s what the analysis is on X,’” Kennedy said. “What you need to do is to match that policy with a message that people can understand, and a messenger who has credibility with the people we seek to actually persuade to vote for us.” http://politi.co/2E7O2kL
THE GOP’S FIREWALL — “Sound the alarm: National GOP breaks glass in Pennsylvania race,” by Alex Isenstadt in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania: “The day after Conor Lamb won the Democratic nomination to run in this very pro-Donald Trump House district, Republican strategist Corry Bliss knew his party had another special election problem on its hands. Bliss, who heads the main super PAC for House Republicans, arrived at his office at 6:30 a.m. and played an internet clip of Lamb, a telegenic 33-year-old former federal prosecutor and Marine veteran, speaking at a Democratic gathering.
“Then Bliss pulled up a video on social media of the Republican candidate he was tasked with helping, 59-year-old state legislator Rick Saccone. ‘I realized this would be a race,’ Bliss said. Since that November morning, the Republican Party has launched a massive campaign to save a House seat here in the heart of Trump country. A loss in the March 13 contest — coming just months after the party’s embarrassing defeat in the Alabama Senate race — would portend a potential blowout in the November midterms.” http://politi.co/2BH4Ddw
— NEW TAX AD: The American Action Network — part of the a cluster of House GOP leadership-backed outside groups — is launching a digital ad in 36 districts touting the benefits of tax reform. The 30-second spot http://bit.ly/2BImCk7
JESSE FERGUSON SOUNDS THE ALARM in USA TODAY: “Will Democrats have the money to win Congress? The Kochs are making me nervous: If you don’t think money matters, you’re wrong. We may have the advantage in enthusiasm, but Republicans will try to buy a ground game to match it”: “Money won’t determine the fundamentals of the cycle. It won’t transform an overwhelming loss into an overwhelming win. You can’t buy a wave. But it can make a difference — a big one. In a cycle like this, I believe it’s the difference that could either end Republican control of the House on a close night, or limit our gains if the wind is really at our backs.” https://usat.ly/2FSbHlx
TRUMP’S TUESDAY — In the afternoon, the president will host a law enforcement roundtable focused on MS-13. He will also sign the National Security Presidential Memorandum establishing the National Vetting Center.
FOR THE RECORD — UPDATE ON TRUMP’S BIPARTISAN PUSH … Democrats are treasonous for not applauding him much during the State of the Union, he said. http://politi.co/2nGVN7g
CARLA MARINUCCI in San Francisco — “California gubernatorial front-runner addresses past scandal”: “Democrat Gavin Newsom, the front-runner in California’s governor’s race, said Monday that he ‘learned an enormous amount’ from his past omission of sexual transgressions while mayor of San Francisco more than a decade ago, saying, ‘I applaud women for coming forward’ in as part of the #MeToo movement.
“Newsom, considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, was questioned about his past scandal at a forum sponsored by POLITICO and the University of San Francisco’s McCarthy for Public Service. He spoke in the greatest detail yet about bombshell revelations that erupted when he was the mayor of San Francisco and nearly derailed his career. …
“‘I acknowledged it. I apologized for it. I learned an enormous amount from it,’ Newsom said Monday. ‘We were very open and honest about it. … And I am, every day, trying to be a champion and a model’ for not only girls, but young boys as the society tries to ‘get to the roots causes.’ The #MeToo movement represents ‘a profound opportunity to address deeper issues,’ he said, adding: ‘It’s not a political movement, it’s a cultural movement.’” http://politi.co/2BXTyk9
HARASSMENT FILES — “Steve Wynn Set Up LLC to Pay His Accuser,” by WSJ’s Kate O’Keeffe: “Steve Wynn and his legal representatives set up a company separate from his Wynn Resorts Ltd., according to public records, that helped conceal a $7.5 million payment to a woman who had accused the casino mogul of forcing her to have sex. The limited-liability company, called Entity Y, was created in 2005, Nevada records show, after a manicurist at Mr. Wynn’s flagship Wynn Las Vegas casino-resort made the accusation, according to people familiar with the matter.
“Entity Y was created solely as a vehicle to handle the settlement funds, a Wynn Resorts lawyer confirmed to a judge in a hearing in October, according to a court transcript. That hearing was part of continuing litigation between Mr. Wynn and his ex-wife, Elaine, over her bid to lift restrictions on the sale of her stock in Wynn Resorts. Mr. Wynn used his personal funds for the settlement, his lawyers said in an earlier court filing in that case.” http://on.wsj.com/2s6Qu5m
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KFILE — “Trump ambassador nominee promoted fringe conspiracy theories on Twitter,” by CNN’s Nathan McDermott and Andrew Kaczynski: “President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the ambassador to Barbados and several other Caribbean countries spread fringe conspiracy theories and unfounded attacks about Trump’s political opponents on Twitter, including ones about Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi, during the 2016 presidential election. Trump in January nominated Leandro Rizzuto Jr., a senior executive at Conair, to be the next ambassador to Barbados, as well as to serve concurrently as ambassador to Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
“His nomination requires Senate confirmation. During the height of the Republican presidential primary, Rizzuto spread smears about Trump’s opponents, including Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a CNN KFile review of Rizzuto’s Twitter account shows.” http://cnn.it/2nFyACi
MEDIAWATCH — “Chaos at Newsweek: Top editors suddenly out,” by CNN’s Hadas Gold: “Employees at Newsweek have been told that editor-in-chief Bob Roe and executive editor Ken Li have been fired, sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN. A reporter, Celeste Katz, who had written articles about financial issues at the magazine as well as an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office into its parent company, Newsweek Media Group, was also let go … Staff in Newsweek’s New York offices were told they could stop working and go home for the day on Monday afternoon. … Senior writer Matthew Cooper tendered his resignation on Monday as a result of the chaos, saying in a resignation letter obtained by CNN that he has never ‘seen more reckless leadership.’” http://cnnmon.ie/2FSbEXd
— ONE OF THE GREAT FEATURES of the old Newsweek: the special election project. A group of reporters and writers — people like Howard Fineman and Evan Thomas — reported on the election on an embargoed basis. And then after the election, Newsweek would release a massive behind-the-scenes tick tock. A bit from the 2008 project http://bit.ly/2BZdAuo
SPOTTED yesterday on the 2 p.m. BOS to DCA shuttle: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
REMEMBERING SEAN MURPHY — “Cole’s Chief of Staff Dies Suddenly,” by Roll Call’s Alex Gangitano: “Rep. Tom Cole announced Monday the death of his longtime chief of staff, Sean Murphy. The Oklahoma Republican put out a statement saying Murphy died suddenly of natural causes. ‘He was a wise counselor, a good friend and a generous mentor to dozens of people who have worked in my congressional office and my political campaigns. He will be missed by all who knew him, but especially me,’ the congressman said. Murphy is survived by his wife and three children. He worked as Cole’s chief of staff for over 11 years and previously as chief of staff for four years to former Colorado Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez.” http://bit.ly/2BboPDw
OUT AND ABOUT — Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley hosted a book party last night at her Georgetown house for Lanny Davis’ “The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency.” During the Q&A, someone in the audience asked Davis if the election could be reversed and Clinton put into office, Clinton, who attended the party and took photos with party-goers, shook her head. Pics http://bit.ly/2E5SJYt … http://bit.ly/2BFGuEc … $16.51 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2nGboUi
SPOTTED: Sidney Blumenthal, Al From, Nick Merrill, Adam Parkhomenko, Dave Weigel, Jim Sciutto, Jonathan Swan, Judy Kurtz, Katie Benner, Kevin Cirilli, Josh Gerstein, Bob Barnett and Rita Braver, Bob Costa, Carl Cannon, Alexi McCammond, Alicia Mundy, Bob Cusack, Carol Joynt, Ben Brody, Chris and Kathleen Matthews, former Amb. Tom Siebert, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Allida Black, Josh Galper, Adam Goldberg, Eleanor and Michael McManus, Emily Miller, Stephanie Schriock and Monica Healy.
– Pool report: “The Heritage Foundation officially welcomed Kay Coles James as its new president and honored founder and former president Ed Feulner on Monday night. In her remarks to more than 300 guests, James said, ‘We will open the hearts and minds and doors of the millions of Americans who really are conservative but just don’t know it yet.’ … Feulner said: ‘Kay, we want to welcome you as president of what we modestly call the most important think tank in the most important city in the most important country in the world.’” Video: http://bit.ly/2E44FxD … Pics http://bit.ly/2BcXiRZ
SPOTTED: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ed Meese, Paul Teller, Jay Timmons, Penny Nance, Morton Blackwell, Roger Ream, Tracie Sharp, Adam Meyerson, Paris Dennard, Tim Carney, Matt Continetti, Tevi Troy, Ken Weinstein, Tim Carney, Gene Meyer, Matt Spalding, Eli Lehrer, Jen Marshall, Matt Continetti, Mike Franc and David McIntosh.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Jerry Seib, executive Washington editor at The Wall Street Journal, is 62. How he got his start in journalism: “Well, I delivered the Hays, Kansas, Daily News as a paper boy, which I suppose represents a start of some kind. More to the point, in college I worked at the Phillips County Review, the Salina Journal and the Wichita Eagle in Kansas as an intern before landing an internship at the Wall Street Journal’s Dallas bureau.” Read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2E5krbN
BIRTHDAYS: Tom Brokaw is 78 … ABC’s Amy Robach is 45 … Ronald Reagan was born 107 years ago in Tampico, Ill. … The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove … Fernando Suarez, CBS News transportation producer, is 39 … Aoife McCarthy … Rebecca Cooper, founder and CEO of Capital Insights … WaPo political reporter Jenna Johnson … David Brown, executive producer for WNET’s “MetroFocus,” is 51 … Annie Burns, partner at GMMB (h/t Jon Haber) … Eric Weiner, columnist for BBC Travel and author of “The Geography of Genius” … Doug Campbell … C. Boyden Gray … Chris Slevin, LD for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) … Daniel Wessel, spokesperson and deputy Trump War Room director at the DNC, and his twin brother Evan, deputy director of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors (h/ts Michael) … Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) is 73 … Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.) is 41 (h/t John McCarthy) …
… Ken Lisaius, Bush alum now SVP of comms. at BIO … Alexa Cassanos, corporate comms at GE and a Facebook and New Yorker alum (h/t Deirdre Latour) … Jacquie Bloom (h/t Tammy Haddad) … DSCC’s Missayr Boker, a NARAL alum (h/t James Owens) … EnergyWire reporter Mike Soraghan … WaPo syndicated columnist Richard Cohen is 77 … Jay Dardenne is 64 (h/ts Jewish Insider) … Jessica Mulligan, government relations manager at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition … RNC’s Sarah Wood … Ray Conger, GPG alum now an MBA candidate at NYU Stern … Justin Pope, AP alum now VP and chief of staff at Longwood University, is 43 … Scott Atran is 66 … Rob Johnson … Helaine Klasky, VP and chair of the public affairs and crisis practice at Burson-Marsteller and a Californian at heart (h/t Ben Chang) … Mark J. McGarry is 6-0 … Mike Schmuhl, principal at Clashmore … Brit Grant … Dick Seifman … Peter Stolz is 36 … Uber’s Malcolm Glenn … Peter Lutrario … Allison Plummer … Jeff Anderson … Clay Helton … Tommy Brown … Patrick Urbanus … Ricky Feller … John Flannery … Doug Campbell (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)
****** A message from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses: The overarching goal of 10,000 Small Businesses is to help small business owners create jobs and economic opportunity.
To celebrate their achievements, Goldman Sachs is hosting the first-ever 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, DC. Learn how we can #MakeSmallBig on February 13 and 14: GS.com/10KSBSummit ******
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