OK, WELL WE’RE NOW IN A SHUTDOWN WEEK. Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats have broken down, and they are on the brink of being beyond repair.
HERE’S WHAT’S AT ISSUE: Democrats are pushing for a statutory cap of 16,500 detention beds for people detained in the U.S., which is what they believe is a mechanism to focus the Trump administration’s interior enforcement policies.
REPUBLICANS SAY it’s arbitrary, and will allow criminals to rove the homeland freely. Republicans believe some undocumented immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S. should be exempt from the cap, and Democrats disagree. This is a fundamental disagreement in the talks.
— THERE IS ALSO DISAGREEMENT on how much to spend on border barriers, and where such structures should go.
THIS IS QUICKLY BECOMING December all over again. Nothing has changed.
MARIANNE LEVINE, HEATHER CAYGLE and BURGESS EVERETT: “Among the issues Democratic negotiators are focused on is Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests of undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., not just crossing the border. They also insist they want a cap on detention beds to force ICE to prioritize which undocumented immigrants it targets within the U.S., and they say that without it, the agency will increase deportation raids in local communities without valid reason.” POLITICO
— NYT’S EMILY COCHRANE, MAGGIE HABERMAN and ERIC SCHMITT: “Senior officers are voicing greater worries that the deployed troops are not conducting the missions and training needed for their regular missions, while other military units must now pick up the routine duties on behalf of their deployed colleagues.” NYT
— “Devastated by one shutdown, dreading the next,” by WaPo’s Eli Saslow: “As Friday’s deadline approaches, a federal worker overwhelmed the first time wonders: ‘How am I supposed to dig out?’” WaPo
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: The government shuts down Friday. That leaves four full days in session to move a bill through the House and Senate.
— WAPO’S ERICA WERNER, DAMIAN PALETTA and SEUNG MIN KIM lead their story with this: “The nation faces the real possibility of another government shutdown at the end of this week after bipartisan talks aimed at averting that outcome broke down in a dispute over immigration enforcement, lawmakers and aides said Sunday.” WaPo
WE HEAR that the Democratic House is considering passing a several-week stopgap spending bill for DHS, along with a minibus with the rest of the outstanding spending bills. The DHS bill will include their desired restrictions on the border wall and on detention beds.
EXPECT the White House to become more vocal in the next few days. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is going to El Paso, Texas, tonight for a rally. Last night we got a call from the administration, promising an on-the-record statement about the status of the talks. The statement never came, but the itchiness to get in the game seemed to be real.
BORDER PATROL IS HAVING TROUBLE HIRING, via Ted Hesson: “Shortly after taking office, the president signed an executive order that called for the hiring of 5,000 additional agents. More recently, his administration pushed a proposal that calls for 2,750 additional agents, law enforcement officers and staff. But Border Patrol can’t hire enough people even to fill jobs that were available before. Even as Congress provides funding to hire 21,370 agents, the patrol is more than 1,800 agents short of that mark.” POLITICO
Good Monday morning.
NEWS … BUCK’S NEW GIG … BRENDAN BUCK, a top aide to Paul Ryan and John Boehner, is joining Blue Engine + JDA as a partner. Blue Engine, a traditionally Democratic outpost founded by Erik Smith, recently merged with JDA Frontline, a Republican shop, to form a bipartisan firm. The firm will roll out a new name in the next few months.
BUCK is a pretty high-profile Republican hire for a firm that is looking to get cred with the right. He worked for Ryan for his whole speakership, serving as one of his most trusted advisers, after working for him on the Ways and Means Committee. Buck was also a senior adviser to Boehner.
BREAKING LAST NIGHT … JOHN BRESNAHAN: “Omar ignites new anti-Semitism controversy with comments on AIPAC”: “Freshman Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar ignited a new controversy on Sunday night when she suggested GOP support for Israel is driven by campaign donations from a prominent pro-Israel group.
“Omar singled out AIPAC, one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington, as the source of those donations. Omar’s comments touched upon a long-running, and particularly ugly, thread of the anti-Semitic movement — that Jewish money fuels backing for Israel in the United States and elsewhere. A freshman Democrat, Max Rose of New York, said, ‘Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.’
“And the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee is a non-profit that doesn’t donate directly to candidates. AIPAC, however, does relentlessly push a pro-Israeli message on Capitol Hill and inside the executive branch, and its members donate to pro-Israel lawmakers and candidates while seeking to defeat those it considers a threat to U.S.-Israeli relations.” POLITICO … Rose’s tweet
SNEAK PEEK … VIRGINIA GOV. RALPH NORTHAM spoke to CBS’ GAYLE KING for “CBS This Morning.” The interview will air at 7 and 8 a.m. Here’s a snippet …
KING: “What have you learned that you didn’t know before?” NORTHAM: “Well several things, starting with I was born in white privilege and that has implications to it. It is much different the way a white person such as myself is — is treated in this country versus –”
KING: “Did you not know that you were born into white privilege?” NORTHAM: “I knew I was, Ms. King, but I didn’t realize really the powerful implications of that. And again talking to a lot of friends that has come crystal clear to me this week. I have also learned why the use of blackface is so offensive, and yes I knew it in the past. But reality has really set in.”
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Top Pentagon official in Afghanistan amid push for peace,” by AP’s Robert Burns in Kabul: “The Pentagon’s top official made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban. Pat Shanahan, the recently installed acting secretary of defense, said he has no orders to reduce the U.S. troop presence, although officials say that is at the top of the Taliban’s list of demands in exploratory peace negotiations.
“Shanahan said he is encouraged that President Donald Trump’s administration is exploring all possibilities for ending a 17-year war, the longest in American history. But he stressed that peace terms are for the Afghans to decide. Thus far the Taliban have refused to negotiate with the government of President Ashraf Ghani, calling it illegitimate. Washington is trying to break that impasse.” AP
DINGELL FUNERAL DETAILS … MLIVE’S RYAN STANTON: “Joe Biden, John Lewis and Fred Upton are scheduled to speak at the Michigan service planned for Tuesday, Jan. 12 in Dearborn, and pallbearers will include some of Dingell’s former staff. At Thursday’s service in Washington, D.C., speakers include Bill Clinton, Steny Hoyer and John Boehner, and pallbearers include former Congress members and colleagues of Dingell.” MLive
REMEMBERING WALTER JONES — SARAH FERRIS: “Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican congressman of 24 years who honed a legacy for bucking the GOP on the Iraq war, died Sunday on his 76th birthday. Jones — who faced no challenger last November — had already announced this would be his final term. The 13-term North Carolina Republican had not voted since September, and was too ill to travel to Washington for a swearing-in ceremony last month.
“Jones was a staunch social conservative: a strong Catholic who fiercely opposed abortion and gay marriage. But he also had an independent streak that drove him to break ranks with his party more than any other Republican, on issues from campaign finance to the Russia investigation into President Donald Trump.” POLITICO
THE JUICE … FRANK LOBIONDO, who recently retired after 25 years of representing southern New Jersey in Congress, is launching LoBo Strategies. The firm’s website
TRUMP’S MONDAY — The president will have lunch with VP Mike Pence at 12:30 p.m. He will sign an executive order on “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” at 3 p.m. in the Oval Office. He will leave the White House at 3:35 p.m. en route to El Paso, Texas, where he will speak at a political rally before returning to the White House.
— FOX NEWS HOST LAURA INGRAHAM will interview the president in El Paso after his political rally. The interview will air at 10 p.m.
2020 WATCH … THE BIG PICTURE — NATASHA KORECKI and CHARLIE MAHTESIAN: “‘Breakthrough moment’: Anti-Trump fires forge historic field of 2020 women”: “That ‘highest and hardest glass ceiling’ Hillary Clinton talked about shattering? As of Monday, there were five more big cracks. … The roster of women officeholders vying for the Democratic nomination now numbers five — more than in any presidential primary election in history.
“It’s a groundbreaking moment, one that nearly all of the candidates paid homage to in their campaign launches. But it’s also a convergence of the political forces unleashed by the Trump era. The president’s style, rhetoric and policies have generated a backlash among women that has turned the traditional gender gap between the parties into a chasm, and that dynamic is already beginning to color every aspect of the upcoming presidential campaign — from the messaging to the kind of candidates Democrats are considering nominating to the very shape of the electorate on Election Day 2020.” POLITICO
— ELENA SCHNEIDER in Minneapolis: “Klobuchar jumps into presidential race”: “Sen. Amy Klobuchar leapt into the 2020 presidential race Sunday, becoming the first Midwestern voice to join the field taking on President Donald Trump.
“The three-term Minnesota Democrat announced her campaign amid driving snow at Boom Island Park with a call to rebuild a ‘sense of community’ in America, against the backdrop of the Interstate 35 bridge that collapsed in 2007, killing 13, spurring Klobuchar and lawmakers from both parties to secure funding to rebuild the span in a year.
“‘We are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding,’ Klobuchar said in a speech to supporters. ‘Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what’s wrong, but by marching inexorably toward what’s right.’” POLITICO
BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LEVINE: “Republicans gush over Klobuchar”
— KNOWING KAMALA HARRIS: “‘Progressive Prosecutor’: Can Kamala Harris Square the Circle?” by NYT’s Kate Zernike in San Francisco: “Kamala Harris was three months into her tenure as San Francisco district attorney in 2004 when a gang member killed a police officer with a hail of bullets from an AK-47. Her announcement within three days of the murder that she would not seek the death penalty set off protests from her fellow Democrats as well as from the police. …
“Ms. Harris is running for president as a ‘progressive prosecutor.’ She says she sees no contradiction in the term, arguing that a tough prosecutor can also be a force for reforming the criminal-justice system. … The death penalty episode shows the tricky crosscurrents that she has had to weather — and that are likely to intensify as she tries to square that circle.” NYT
— “Elizabeth Warren Has Evolved: She Now Pays Interns More Than Anyone Else In Congress,” by WGBH’s Paul Singer
DEEP DIVES — THE NEW YORKER’S ADAM ENTOUS and RONAN FARROW, “Private Mossad for Hire: Inside a plot to influence American elections, starting with one small-town race.”
— JEFFREY TOOBIN: “Roger Stone’s and Jerome Corsi’s Time in the Barrel: Why the mismatched operatives matter to Trump—and to the Mueller investigation”: “Stone has responded to Mueller’s charges with fevered hyperbole. ‘Those who think the Mueller investigation will die out with a whimper are dreaming,’ he told me on the phone in early February, after his arraignment in federal court in Washington, D.C. ‘This is a pretext to allow them to remove both Trump and Pence and replace them with Leather Face—I mean, Nancy Pelosi—and then she can appoint Hillary Clinton as V.P. That’s been the agenda from the beginning.’” New Yorker
BEZOS BEAT — “Jeff Bezos’s Journey From Private Family Man to Tabloid Sensation,” by WSJ’s Erich Schwartzel, Alexandra Berzon and Laura Stevens: “One Saturday night last September, a crowd of celebrities, Silicon Valley titans and Hollywood executives gathered at television producer Mark Burnett’s Malibu mansion for a birthday party celebrating venture capitalist Vivi Nevo. The richest of them all was Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $125 billion. He sat in the middle of the action and appeared to relish the spotlight, said a guest who knows Mr. Bezos.
“A flashy party is not the place many would have expected to find the billionaire, who until recently had usually taken pains to depict himself as an ordinary, even shy, family man. … For more than two decades, Mr. Bezos had built a public persona of a low-key billionaire who did the dishes every night, had a happy home life, valued frugality and was a bit of a nerd at work.
“More recently, as Amazon has expanded into the world of entertainment, the e-commerce entrepreneur began to take on the trappings of a different kind of public figure. He began getting photographed by paparazzi and appearing publicly with movie stars—and took up with a Hollywood girlfriend.” WSJ
— “Mistress’ Brother Leaked Bezos’ Racy Texts to Enquirer, Sources Say,” by The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay: “The brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast.
“Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer. … AMI has previously refused to identify the source of the texts, but a lawyer for the company strongly hinted at Sanchez’s role during a Sunday morning interview on ABC.” Daily Beast
MEDIAWATCH — “Steve Schmidt Storms Off Own Podcast When Asked About Advising Howard Schultz,” by The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift: “Schmidt railed at having to defend himself on his [“Words Matter”] podcast with a stream of curses a source present in the studio said consumed six minutes. Told that listeners were castigating him for joining an effort that could help re-elect President Trump and that he owed them answers …
“That prompts [host Adam] Levine to ask the question that evidently hits a nerve. ‘Will Derek Jeter or another athlete not hit another home run because they’re going to get taxed at 70? What’s the economic behavior that he thinks is anti-growth, other than his own pocket?’ ‘This is bull***,’ Schmidt exclaims. ‘I’m not doing this.’ ‘Steve, you’ve got to answer the questions,’ Levine says.
“‘I’m not,’ and with that Schmidt slams down his headset and abruptly ends the interview. He threatened legal action against the studio if the interview airs, according to a source involved in the discussion. When his legal threat failed, he offered to buy the recording, according to the source. The studio refused. … Hours later, [Elise] Jordan … Tweeted … that she was also leaving Words Matter.” Daily Beast … The podcast episode
SPOTTED Sunday night at Cafe Milano at three separate tables: Vernon and Ann Jordan and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Dick Blum; French Ambassador Gérard Araud and Pascal Blondeau; and Dikembe Mutombo.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Evan Siegfried, president of Somm Consulting. What he’s been reading recently: “I just reread ‘Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine,’ by Benjamin Wallace. It is an incredibly entertaining look into the world of rare wine and wine fraud focusing on Hardy Rodenstock, an eccentric German who claimed to have unearthed bottles of 1787 Chateau Lafite that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Bill Koch, who bought one of the bottles at auction, ended up spending millions to hire top criminal forensic experts to help determine how much fraudulent wine he had bought. … Koch is a damn hero to the wine world.” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Jeb Bush is 66 … Sarah Palin is 55 … Mike Leavitt is 68 … Rick Tyler … Dan Barry … Alex Conant, partner at Firehouse Strategies (hat tip: wife Caitlin) … Mame Huntsman … James Gleeson, comms director at SpaceX (h/ts Juleanna Glover and Kam Mumtaz) … Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is 57 … Matt Bennett, co-founder and SVP of public affairs at Third Way, is 54 … Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) is 49 … Steven V. Roberts is 76 … POLITICO’s Michelle Zar and Rachel Kosberg … Gene McLean … Elizabeth Patton … Nathan Wurtzel … Wes Barrett … Johanna Maska … Chris Hensman … BBC’s Pascale Puthod … Rob Hendin (h/t Steve Clemons) … Jimmy Dahman … Alicia Mundy … Airbnb’s Casey Aden-Wansbury … Jess Sarmiento (h/ts Jon Haber) … James Hewitt, press secretary at the EPA, is 28 (h/t Fred Brown) …
… ProPublica EIC Stephen Engelberg … Nicole L’Esperance (h/t Samantha Greene) … Sean McCluskie … Adrian Hasler, prime minister of Liechtenstein, is 55 … Ilana Ozernoy, VP and deputy head of comms at News Corp. … Andrew Springer, senior director of editorial and development at NBC News … Francis Potter is 52 … Kyle Buckles … HBO’s Ashley Morton … Kate Sachse … Scott Berkowitz … Burleson Smith … Jerri Ann Henry … Ryan Steusloff … Elizabeth Heng … Eric Stern … Emily Kirlin, partner at Peck Madigan Jones … Jay Reich … Brian Kaveney … Theodora Blanchfield … Scott Wasserman Stern … Olga Davidson … Mark M. Palmer … Sarah Basha … Andrea Mares … David Stern, VP at BofA … Will Smith, SVP at Cornerstone Government Affairs … Amanda Hamilton … Addie Patterson … Fernando Ruiz … Chris Mather, alum of Purple Strategies … E.B. Nesbitt (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)