THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY is about to enter a new part tonight, 20 days earlier than the primary caucus, with tenuous non-aggression pacts breaking down and the president sharpening his attacks and concentrate on a subject that’s lastly getting pared right down to its prime tier.
THE CNN/DES MOINES REGISTER DEBATE tonight in Des Moines -- moderated by Wolf Blitzer, Abby Phillip and Brianne Pfannenstiel -- happens with this backdrop: ELIZABETH WARREN and BERNIE SANDERS are warring, with the Massachusetts senator’s allies and aides seemingly leaking damaging info about her colleague from Vermont and their supporters battling over it on Twitter; two outstanding black leaders, Sens. CORY BOOKER and KAMALA HARRIS, are out of the sector; and MIKE BLOOMBERG has turned on a gusher of money, looming giant on the sidelines and attracting the president’s ire and attention.
THAT’S NOT TO MENTION JOE BIDEN versus the subject. The remainder of the candidates try to gingerly make the case that the former VP is out of step with the get together’s voters and of a special era of Democratic leaders. BIDEN, meanwhile, has proved a sturdy frontrunner who has run his personal race and largely ignored a lot of the fireworks around him.
IT COULD BE THE MOST momentous debate but.
THE INTERNECINE WAR between SANDERS and WARREN is hitting an absolute fever pitch, sparked by this CNN report by MJ LEE, which had Sanders telling Warren a lady couldn't win. SANDERS denies it, however WARREN is on the record saying it’s true. This appears certain to play a main position in tonight’s tilt.
MEANWHILE, as SANDERS and WARREN eat at each other, an excellent PAC that helps BIDEN is going up on the air in Iowa with an advert touting the former VP’s expertise on the world stage. “We'd like someone in the Oval Workplace who understands the gravity and the results of their selections,” the ad -- paid for by Unite the Country -- intones. The 32-second spot … Marc Caputo on the ad … David Siders previews the debate
BACK ON CAPITOL HILL … MUST READ … BURGESS EVERETT and JOHN BRESNAHAN: “Republicans face counting on impeachment witnesses”: “The GOP has tried to remain targeted on its recreation plan to shut down Democratic hopes of locking in witnesses at the outset of the trial, however it’s turn into increasingly clear the get together will face an inner reckoning through the trial because it defends its Senate majority and faces a president who calls for full loyalty.
“Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has despatched GOP leaders a message that they will’t assume she is going to try to move via the trial as shortly as potential and ignore the potential of listening to new evidence. And she or he’s not alone.
“Take Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who is retiring at the top of the yr. He says he may vote to listen to witnesses ‘if I wanted to. Or I won't. Or I'd.’ ‘My view is we should hear the case, ask our questions and then have a vote on whether or not we have to hear further witnesses or call for extra paperwork,’ stated Alexander. ‘It’s essential to have a vote on whether or not we've witnesses or not.’” POLITICO
TO BE CLEAR ... THE SENATE GOP LEADERSHIP line on witnesses has softened in current days. They clearly do not need to be boxed in, and need to see how the process goes and the way members feel in a number of weeks.
SENATE REPUBLICANS TO TRUMP: SHUSH … by way of Burgess and Bres: “‘I might vote towards a movement to dismiss instantly. Absolutely,’ Sen. COLLINS says … Sen. MITT ROMNEY: “‘I can't be supporting a movement to dismiss’ … Says the Ukraine allegations are ‘critical and need to be given consideration’ and that Trump workforce must make its case too.”
… by way of NBC’s Frank Thorp: “Sen [Roy] BLUNT: ‘I feel our members are usually not eager about a motion to dismiss. The argument for a motion to dismiss was there, was one in Clinton guidelines. But I feel I’m protected in saying there’s virtually no interest in a motion to dismiss.’”
-- WAPO’S SEUNG MIN KIM, MIKE DEBONIS and ELISE VIEBECK put all of it together: “Top Senate Republicans reject Trump’s renewed call for immediate dismissal of impeachment charges”
HAPPENING TODAY … HOUSE DEMOCRATS have their weekly caucus assembly at 9 this morning, by which they're expected to talk about sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate. We anticipate a vote in the next two days, and an announcement of managers soon.
BIG NYT SCOOP … “Russians Hacked Ukrainian Fuel Company at Middle of Impeachment,” by Nicole Perlroth and Matthew Rosenberg: “With President Trump dealing with an impeachment trial over his efforts to strain Ukraine to research former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, Russian army hackers have been boring into the Ukrainian fuel company at the middle of the affair, in response to security specialists.
“The hacking makes an attempt towards Burisma, the Ukrainian fuel firm on whose board Hunter Biden served, began in early November, as speak of the Bidens, Ukraine and impeachment was dominating the news in america.
“It isn't but clear what the hackers found, or exactly what they have been looking for. But the specialists say the timing and scale of the attacks recommend that the Russians might be looking for probably embarrassing materials on the Bidens — the identical sort of info that Mr. Trump needed from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a sequence of occasions that led to his impeachment.” NYT
-- EVERY NEWS OUTLET will now should determine: If we get information about the Bidens and Burisma obtained by Russian hackers, can we publish, and underneath what circumstances and with what guardrails?
TRUMP’S DEFENSE PLAN, by way of DARREN SAMUELSOHN: “Within the Senate, White Home counsel Pat Cipollone will deliver opening arguments and take the lead. He’ll be flanked by two of his deputies, Michael Purpura and Patrick Philbin … Then there’s Jay Sekulow, the longest-serving member of the president’s personal legal staff, who is predicted to make his own trial presentation delving into the Ukraine scandal … Outdoors the chamber, [Rudy] Giuliani will stay his omnipresent self, whether Trump’s in-house legal workforce likes it or not.”
Good Tuesday morning.
SPOTTED: Chris Christie on the same Washington-bound Amtrak practice Monday as Bridget Anne Kelly, his former deputy COS who sent the infamous “time for some visitors issues in Fort Lee” e mail. Kelly and her Bridgegate co-defendant, Invoice Baroni, are set to argue their case earlier than the Supreme Courtroom at present. Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, left the practice hand in hand.
NOTABLE QUOTABLE … JASON GREENBLATT SPEAKS … The former Trump Center East peace envoy gave an interview to the Jewish Telegraphic Company. QUESTION: “Are you hopeful about peace between Israel and the Palestinians?”
GREENBLATT: “I feel they've a variety of very robust points to work out. I don’t know if the 2 sides will come to agreement on those robust points. I don’t assume anybody may be positive. These are complicated issues that the two sides are extraordinarily divided on, and even inside the two societies, so I don’t assume anybody can sit here and say peace may be achieved. But I feel it might be a disgrace if we didn’t proceed to attempt desperately.” Full Q&A
WHAT CONGRESS? … WAPO’S NICK MIROFF: “Trump planning to divert further $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall”: “President Trump is getting ready to divert an further $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding for border wall development this yr, 5 occasions what Congress approved him to spend on the venture in the 2020 finances, based on inner planning figures obtained by The Washington Submit.
“The Pentagon funds can be extracted, for the second yr in a row, from army development tasks and counternarcotics funding. In line with the plans, the funding would give the federal government enough cash to finish about 885 miles of latest fencing by spring 2022, excess of the 509 miles the administration has slated for the U.S. border with Mexico.” WaPo
-- WAPO’S KEVIN SEIFF in Guatemala City: “The U.S. is putting asylum seekers on planes to Guatemala — often without telling them where they’re going”
2020 WATCH … CHRIS CADELAGO and SALLY GOLDENBERG: “Bloomberg’s marketing campaign snowballs to 1,000 staffers and counting”: “Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has brought on greater than 700 staffers spread out across 33 states, with a growing variety of organizers becoming a member of his ranks in states that vote on Super Tuesday, aides informed POLITICO.
“All advised, the former New York mayor's operation totals greater than 1,000 individuals, a figure that features a whole lot of staffers who work out of his Manhattan headquarters.
“The unprecedented scale and scope of the marketing campaign — he has additionally spent over $200 million on TV advertisements — provides Bloomberg a large footprint in states that maintain their primaries on March three or later. Bloomberg can also be working to offer a Democratic counterbalance to President Donald Trump in elements of the country which might be very important to his social gathering in November.” POLITICO
BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE -- WMUR’S JOHN DISTASO: “Former NHGOP executive director, U.S. State Department official Matt Mowers running for Congress”
-- NEW HAMPSHIRE’S 1st Congressional District is one that insists on moderation. It flip-flopped between Republican Frank Guinta and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter between 2007 and 2019. It was a Trump +1 in 2016, and an Obama +1 in 2012.
TRUMP’S TUESDAY -- The president will receive his intel briefing at 2:45 p.m. in the Oval Office. He'll depart the White Home at four:40 p.m. en route to Milwaukee. He will converse at a campaign rally at 7 p.m. CST at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Area. He will depart at 8:30 p.m. en route again to Washington. He’ll arrive at the White Home at midnight.
AP: “Iran broadcasts arrests over downing of Ukrainian aircraft,” by Aya Batrawy in DuBai, United Arab Emirates: “Iran’s judiciary stated Tuesday that arrests have been made for the unintentional shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft that killed all 176 individuals on board just after takeoff from Tehran final week. The announcement got here amid an upswell of anger and protests by Iranians in current days over the downing of the jetliner final Wednesday and apparent attempts by senior officers in Iran to cover-up the reason for the crash.” AP
-- THE BIG PICTURE: “Iran’s crisis of competence,” by POLITICO Europe’s Christian Oliver: “That is harmful territory for Iran’s rulers. Accusations that the chief is mismanaging the country (and fomenting corruption) plays to a fury that unites the reformist camp with many extra conservative Iranians. At both ends of the political spectrum, there’s intense frustration that the Islamic Republic by no means delivered, and that neighbors like Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates put themselves on the map in a means that Iranians all the time aspired to, both politically or economically.”
THE POST USES THE L WORD: “‘4 embassies’: The anatomy of Trump’s unfounded declare about Iran,” by WaPo’s Philip Rucker, John Hudson, Shane Harris and Josh Dawsey: “‘I can reveal I consider it in all probability would’ve been 4 embassies,’ he stated in an interview Friday with Fox Information Channel. …
“Based mostly on what is understood thus far, Trump’s statement was at greatest an unfounded principle and at worst a falsehood. At each flip in the commander in chief’s quickly evolving narrative of why he approved the Jan. three drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the equipment of presidency scrambled to adapt and respond.
“The result's a credibility crisis for an administration that has long struggled to communicate factual info to the public. At a dangerous moment for the nation’s safety, with america on the brink of warfare with Iran, Trump is unable to rely on trustworthiness to justify his determination to take out Soleimani, both due to his lengthy report of exaggerations and lies and because of his ever-shifting rationales.” WaPo
BARR’S SCRAPPLE WITH APPLE -- “U.S. Calls Pensacola Assault Terrorism; Pressures Apple Over Gunman’s Locked Phones,” by WSJ’s Sadie Gurman, Dustin Volz and Nancy Youssef: “Lawyer Common William Barr referred to as the December assault by a Saudi aviation scholar that killed three individuals at a Florida Navy base an act of terrorism, escalating strain on Apple Inc. to assist unlock a pair of the gunman’s iPhones that would provide more details about his radicalization.
“Mr. Barr referred to as on Apple to find a method to crack the encrypted phones in a high-profile request that ramped up a long-simmering struggle between tech companies and the federal government over how to greatest stability digital security with the imperatives of felony investigations. … Justice Division officials stated only a look at knowledge and communications on the gunman’s phones might help them say for sure whether or not he discussed his plans with others.” WSJ … Barr’s remarks
-- BUT, BUT, BUT … @dnvolz: “DoJ and FBI officers had a telephone briefing w/ congressional employees this morning and acknowledged they have been conscious there was nothing Apple might do to unlock the Pensacola shooter's iPhones, per aides acquainted with the name.”
-- @joshgerstein: “Essential. What feds are looking for just isn't simply technical assistance in accessing these telephones, but the appropriate to build-in access prematurely.”
HMMM … “Zinke provides $11Okay in marketing campaign cash to foundation he started,” by AP’s Matt Volz in Helena, Mont.: “Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has closed his congressional marketing campaign account and given almost all the fundraising cash that was left to a charitable foundation he began and his spouse now runs.
“Federal Election Fee studies present that Zinke, a former Republican U.S. representative from Montana, terminated his Home marketing campaign fundraising account earlier this month. The last transaction is a Dec. 8 cost of $11,594 to the Great Northern Foundation.
“Zinke based that nonprofit group to take care of a park in Whitefish, Montana, his hometown. He's not on the inspiration’s board, but his spouse Lola is the president of the basis, previously referred to as the Nice Northern Veterans Peace Park Basis.” AP
MEDIAWATCH -- “Jitters at MSNBC as Brass Eyes Moving Chuck Todd and Talks to Shep Smith: Chuck Todd’s day by day present might move to mornings, inflicting angst among the many show’s employees. Different potential modifications might alter weekends and, ultimately, the network’s primetime roster,” by The Every day Beast’s Maxwell Tani, Lloyd Grove and Lachlan Cartwright
-- LAWRENCE LESSIG is suing the NYT for defamation. Medium post
-- Matt Bai is now a politics contributing columnist at WaPo. He previously was nationwide political columnist for Yahoo and a longtime NYT Journal author. Announcement
-- Victoria Chow is now a shopper communications supervisor at Reddit. She previously was communications director for The California Sunday Journal and Pop-Up Journal.
-- Andrew Thorne shall be COS at Klik Media. He's at present editorial operations manager at POLITICO.
IN MEMORIAM -- “Roger Scruton, R.I.P.,” by Nationwide Assessment’s Michael Brendan Dougherty: “An important conservative thinker of his era, the philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, has died. He was 75 and affected by most cancers. In his life he revealed scores of books on a dizzying number of subjects, ranging by way of politics, artwork, music, the philosophy of Emmanuel Kant, religion, and fox searching. He additionally wrote fiction, together with the novels Notes from Underground and The Disappeared and the gathering Souls in the Twilight. He composed an opera (The Minister) and a handful of songs.” National Review
SPOTTED: Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) getting off a Frontier Airlines flight at DCA on Monday.
OUT AND ABOUT … SPOTTED at a party Monday night time for Lee Drutman’s new guide, “Breaking the Two-Social gathering Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America” ($25.16 on Amazon), hosted by Peter Ackerman: Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), David Brooks, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Tom Glaisyer, Avik Roy, Chris Shays, Karlyn Bowman, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Soren Daytn, Kerry Healey and Jerry Taylor.
TRANSITIONS -- Former Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is now a co-chairman at Mercury Public Affairs. He most just lately was a senior legislative adviser at McDermott Will & Emery. … Stephanie Ryska is becoming a member of Koch Industries as supervisor of digital content technique. She beforehand was senior manager of social media and digital advertising on the Chamber of Commerce. …
… Stacy Rich and Charles Carithers are becoming a member of Cornerstone Government Affairs. Rich at present is management employees director for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Carithers previously was knowledgeable employees member for the House Homeland Security Dems.
BIRTHWEEK (was Monday): Andrew Yang turned 45 … Ken Pollack turned 54
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Susan Glasser, New Yorker employees writer and CNN international affairs analyst. A development she thinks doesn’t get sufficient consideration: “Anti-corruption protests spread all over the world during the last yr, toppling governments and traditional wisdoms all over the place from Lebanon, Iran and Iraq to Hong Kong and Russia, Indonesia, Bolivia and Ecuador.” Playbook Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Shepard Smith is 56 … Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is 58 … Maureen Dowd … Invoice Plante is 82 (h/t Ben Chang) … LCV President Gene Karpinski is 68 … Michael Reed, RNC deputy COS for comms (h/t Cassie Smedile) … Eric Alterman is 6-0 … Toby Harnden is 54 … Colin Milligan, senior affiliate director for media relations on the American Hospital Affiliation … Frank Raines is 71 … Jack Torry … Margaret Chadbourn … Michael Block … Karl Beckstein … WaPo’s Molly Gannon and Jen Liberto … CAP’s Marcella Bombardieri … David Vyorst … Alexandra Shapiro … Mary Kusler … Sean Johnson of the Maryland State Schooling Affiliation (h/t Brian Dunn) … Amanda Callanan, VP of communications at the Claremont Institute …
… Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent … Teddy Eynon … Andrea Seabrook, managing editor at Countable … Michael Tuchin is 55 ... Ben Koltun, senior analysis analyst at Beacon Coverage Advisors ... Christina Daigneault … William Johnson … former North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue is 73 ... Francisco Martin-Rayo ... Duncan Currie … Sinead Casey ... Ellen Wulfhorst, chief correspondent for the Americas at the Thomson Reuters Basis … John Ellsworth ... Regina Schofield ... Jeffrey Webb ... Marc Schloss … Andy Gussert … Mary Jane Cobb (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Megan Milligan … Brennan Moss … Doug Michelman, president of the Dash 1Million Venture Basis … Erin Haber (h/ts Jon Haber) … Hugh Kaufman … Andrew Baris
Article initially revealed on POLITICO Magazine