WHERE DEMS ARE … SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI spoke to the Capitol press corps around 7 p.m., and if you thought she was going to cut a deal for a wall, please read this, and let us know where you see the room for negotiation between PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and Pelosi:
— “A WALL is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation.”
— “WE’RE NOT DOING A WALL. Does anybody have any doubt about that? We are not doing a wall.”
— “THE WALL, in my view, is an immorality, it is, again, a waste of money, an opportunity cost to protect the American people. But it is a diversionary tactic on the part of the president.”
A NEW WHITE HOUSE POSITION … DACA-FOR-WALL DEAL ON THE TABLE … LAST NIGHT, there were two interesting segments on Fox News, which seem to give great insight into the latest White House thinking on the immigration negotiations.
— FIRST, SEAN HANNITY said the president was willing to put DACA on the table in the wall talks. TRUMP said the opposite two days ago in his Cabinet meeting, but we got word from Republicans last night that the president is actually serious about talking about some sort of DACA-for-wall deal. DEMOCRATS have rejected this, but this adds a new wrinkle to the shutdown talks.
— TUCKER CARLSON interviewed VP MIKE PENCE last night, and Tucker asked, “Will the deal that resolves the shutdown include any form of amnesty for people here illegally now?” PENCE: “Well, our focus is on border security.” TUCKER: “Of course, but the Democrats’ focus is getting amnesty for people here illegally. Will you agree to that?”
PENCE: “Well, what we’ve completely focused on is keeping the president’s promise: to build a wall, to pass legislation that provides other support for border security, that gives the people that are enforcing our laws at the border and across the country enforcing our immigration laws the resources and the tools that they need.
“There’s a lot of people talking about a lot of different ideas. Frankly, the better part of a year ago, the president expressed a willingness to deal with the issue of Dreamers in a compassionate way so people who were brought here as children, through no fault of their own — he’s discussed that. It’s being talked about. …
“[T]he president’s made clear: We’re here to make a deal, but it’s a deal that’s going to result in achieving real gains on border security and you have no border security without a wall, we’ll have no deal without a wall.”
SHUTDOWN … DAY 14 … This shutdown is now tied for the fourth-longest shutdown in U.S. history.
Good Friday morning. MARKET WATCH — WSJ’S DAVID HODARI: “Global Stocks Regain Ground as China Confirms Trade Talks”
TODAY’S BIG MEETING … HILL LEADERS go to the White House at 11:30 this morning. AS THEY PROMISED, THE HOUSE passed a package to reopen the shuttered parts of government until September. The House also voted to fund DHS through Feb. 8 to allow for negotiations on border security. Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris with the latest on the shutdown
SEVEN HOUSE REPUBLICANS joined all of the House Democrats in supporting the approps package: Reps. Will Hurd (Texas), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Fred Upton (Mich.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Peter King (N.Y.), Greg Walden (Ore.) and John Katko (N.Y.).
MCCONNELL SPEAKS — JOHN BRESNAHAN and BURGESS EVERETT: “McConnell keeps his head down as shutdown drags on”: “With the partial government shutdown closing in on two weeks and no end in sight, Mitch McConnell says Democrats are privately urging him to help find a way out of the impasse. Not going to happen, says the Senate majority leader.
“‘I don’t see how that leads to an outcome. And I want to get an outcome,’ McConnell said in a brief hallway interview on Thursday. ‘That will be determined by the president and Senate Democrats.’” POLITICO
— “McConnell Faces Pressure From Republicans to Stop Avoiding Shutdown Fight,” by NYT’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nick Fandos: “[O]n Thursday, as a new era of divided government opened in Washington, perhaps the most vulnerable Republican, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, broke ranks to become the first member of his party to call for an end to the shutdown — with or without Mr. Trump’s wall funding. …
“A second vulnerable Republican, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, one of the chamber’s most moderate members, said Thursday that she would support separating homeland security funding from the other bipartisan appropriations bills already approved in committee to reopen much of the government — as Democrats have proposed. But Mr. McConnell is refusing to take up the Democrats’ measures.” NYT
— NANCY COOK: “Mulvaney eggs Trump on in shutdown fight”
PELOSI’S PRESS BLITZ … Pelosi will sit down this morning at 9 a.m. for an MSNBC town hall moderated by Joy Reid at her alma mater, Trinity Washington University. The event will air tonight at 10 p.m. She will also be profiled by Jane Pauley on “CBS News Sunday Morning.” This comes after Pelosi’s press team, led by deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill, orchestrated days of positive press on Pelosi’s return as speaker.
PELOSI invited Trump to give the State of the Union on Jan. 29. Her letter to Trump
THE NEW HOUSE MAJORITY …
— “‘It’s awkward now’: Shutdown puts damper on start of new Congress,” by Sarah Ferris and Marianne LeVine: “Members, old and new, introduced each other to their spouses and grandchildren. Many snapped photos, flagrantly breaking the chamber’s no-cameras rule, as prominent first-termers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) walked by.
“On the Senate side, the 10 newly elected members rode the subways with their families at the same time that the Senate’s spending chief, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), warned that the shutdown could go on for ‘months and months.’” POLITICO
— WAPO’S ELISE VIEBECK: “Lawmakers hail a new ‘sisterhood’ as more than 100 women take their seats in the House”: “Women lawmakers had to wait until 2011 to get a restroom off the floor of the House. On Thursday for the first time, there was a line to get in. The opening day of the 116th Congress was heavy with symbolism underscoring women’s historic gains in power as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) retook the speaker’s gavel and more than 100 women were sworn in on the floor of the House. Beneath the portraits of male speakers past, history seemed to be changing.
“Dozens of newly elected women queued to receive their member pins. Husbands affixed those pins to their wives’ lapels. They held tote bags, corralled relatives and quieted children. The day served as a powerful reminder of the shifting gender dynamics of the House as Democrats ascend to power. When Pelosi arrived on Capitol Hill in 1987, there were 23 female members. As of Thursday, there are 102, nearly 90 percent of whom are Democrats.” WaPo
MEANWHILE … HOUSE REPUBLICANS HIT THE AIRWAVES …
— HITTING DEMS ON PELOSI … THE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP FUND launched a six-figure online ad campaign, hitting Reps. Gil Cisneros (Calif.), Sharice Davids (Kan.), Haley Stevens (Mich.), Dean Phillips (Minn.) and Andy Kim (N.J.) for voting for Pelosi after indicating they wanted new leadership on the campaign trail.
PARTIAL SCRIPT: “It takes most politicians years to sell out, but Dean Phillips broke his bond with voters on the very first day.” Watch the 30-second Phillips spot
— THE HOUSE FREEDOM FUND — the Freedom Caucus’ political arm — has launched a $1 million ad campaign pressing the need for a border wall. SCRIPT: “Over and over again: An Illegal Immigrant crosses the border and someone gets hurt … This time, an officer of the law. … President Trump is fighting to build a wall to keep us safe, and put America first. … But Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are standing in the way. … Playing politics instead of protecting America. … Tell them enough is enough: Border Wall Now!”
SPOTTED at Cafe Milano last night at a dinner for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): Feinstein’s husband Dick Blum, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Doug Emhoff, Ellen Tauscher, Justice Stephen Breyer, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, Hilary Rosen, Hope Warschaw, Michael and Afsaneh Beschloss and Lloyd and Ann Hand.
… Leon Panetta and family celebrating Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) … Separately at the restaurant: Rhoda and Dan Glickman, Wolf and Lynn Blitzer, Ed and Debra Cohen, Niki Christoff … Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) playing his harmonica at Pearl Street Warehouse. Pic
2020 WATCH — JASON SCHWARTZ and DAVID SIDERS, “New Democratic kingmaker: Ratings surge positions Maddow to boost favorite candidates”: “Iowa is fine, and New Hampshire certainly has its charms. But one of the most important contests of the 2020 Democratic nominating process kicked off Wednesday night not at a county fair or diner, but inside MSNBC’s New York City studios, where Elizabeth Warren sat down with Rachel Maddow, the host of cable news’ recently crowned No. 1 show.
“Donald Trump’s ability to dominate cable news helped vault him from outsider status within the Republican Party to the White House in 2016. Now, with ratings surging at MSNBC, political strategists and communications experts say getting air time on the left-leaning network, and the Rachel Maddow Show in particular, could be crucial for candidates looking to separate themselves from what is expected to be a crowded Democratic field.” POLITICO
— “Beto O’Rourke gets an Iowa boost,” by David Siders: “Martin O’Malley’s announcement Thursday that he will not run for president may not have upended the 2020 presidential field. But by endorsing Beto O’Rourke at the same time he revealed his own departure from the race, O’Malley significantly advanced the case for the former Texas congressman in the Iowa crucible that could determine O’Rourke’s fate if he chooses to run.” POLITICO
ON RUSSIA … BEN SCHRECKINGER: “Senate Democrats threaten to block Trump administration invite to sanctioned Russian official”: “A pair of senior Senate Democrats are threatening to block the Trump administration’s invitation of a sanctioned Russian official to visit the U.S. The threats — from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Robert Menendez of New Jersey — come in response to a recent POLITICO report about NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s invitation to his Russian counterpart to visit Houston and speak at Rice University some time early this year. …
“Calling Rogozin ‘one of the leading architects of the Kremlin’s campaign of aggression towards its neighbors,’ she said the invitation ‘undercuts our message and undermines the United States’ core national security objectives.’” POLITICO … Schreckinger’s original story
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION — ANDREW RESTUCCIA: “Makeup of Cabinet is creating more hurdles for Trump”: “Lawyers, government watchdogs and veterans of past administrations warn that Trump’s reliance on acting officials and former lobbyists could lead to a litany of problems. Controversial decisions made by acting secretaries could be challenged in court by injured parties who dispute the legitimacy of the appointed department head, as has already happened with acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. …
“House Democrats have signaled that they intend to investigate Cabinet secretaries’ potential conflicts of interest, likely subjecting agency leaders to contentious oversight hearings and an explosion of document requests.” POLITICO
— NYT’S THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF and MAGGIE HABERMAN: “White House Mulls Jim Webb, Ex-Democratic Senator, as Next Defense Secretary”
— ONE ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL with knowledge of the selection process told Daniel: “I just don’t think there will be any more generals.” POLITICO
TRUMP’S FRIDAY — The president will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 3 p.m. in the Oval Office.
TRUMP INC. — NYT’S MIRIAM JORDAN: “Undocumented Worker Says Trump Resort Shielded Her From Secret Service”: “A former employee of the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey said that her name was removed from a list of workers to be vetted by the Secret Service after she reminded management that she was unlawfully in the United States, the latest worker to assert that supervisors at the elite resort were aware that some members of their work force were undocumented.
“The Bedminster golf club has recently terminated several workers who were determined to be ineligible to work in the country, according to several people familiar with the matter, following a New York Times report that revealed that immigrants who presented false documents were knowingly kept on the payroll, sometimes for years.” NYT
FOR YOUR RADAR — “Spy or Not? American Who Loves Russia Ensnared in New Cold War,” by NYT’s Julian Barnes and Neil MacFarquhar: “He loved to travel around Russia by train, collected tea glass holders stamped with Russian historical scenes and maintained social media friendships with ordinary Russians, from a hairstylist to retired members of the country’s military.
“Now Paul N. Whelan, a former United States Marine and current security chief for BorgWarner, an international auto parts manufacturer, has been accused of espionage by Russia and is in solitary confinement in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo Prison — long used by the K.G.B. and its successors for Soviet dissidents and foreign spies. … [F]ormer C.I.A. officers said they did not think he was a spy.” NYT
BEYOND THE BELTWAY … CHICAGO ALDERMAN ARRESTED … CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: “Feds: Burke thought he was ‘playing nice with ’em,’ then came the squeeze,” by Jon Seidel, Tim Novak, Mitch Dudek, Fran Spielman, Stefano Esposito and Sam Charles: “[A] bombshell 37-page criminal complaint unsealed Thursday that charged the powerhouse alderman [Ed Burke] with attempted extortion. After serving on the City Council for nearly half a century, Burke faced a federal judge Thursday, accused of using his position as alderman to try to steer business toward his private firm. …
“Burke’s law firm had already earned notoriety for its tax work on behalf of the tower along the Chicago River that bears the name of President Donald Trump, resulting in more than $14 million in savings.” Chicago Sun-Times
SUNDAY SO FAR …
“Face the Nation”: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) … A panel of new Democratic House members: Reps. Max Rose (N.Y.), Colin Allred (Texas), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.) and Jahana Hayes (Conn.). Correspondents panel: Dan Balz, Shannon Pettypiece, Mark Landler and Ed O’Keefe
“State of the Union”: Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), David Urban, Patti Solis Doyle and Bill Kristol
“Inside Politics”: Manu Raju, Maggie Haberman, Eliana Johnson and Lisa Lerer
“Fox News Sunday”: Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Marie Harf, Jonah Goldberg and Mo Elleithee
“Meet the Press”: Panel: David Brooks, Matthew Continetti, Donna Edwards and Kasie Hunt
MEDIAWATCH — Per Morning Media: “Rosie Gray is returning to BuzzFeed as media and politics reporter. Gray, who worked at BuzzFeed from 2012 through the 2016 election, was most recently at The Atlantic. … Gray, who is still finishing a book, starts April 1.”
HILL MOVES — Joi Chaney is joining Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) office as chief of staff at the end of January after running Equal Pay Today, a project of Equal Rights Advocates. She also is an alum of the Obama administration, where she was a political appointee in the office of the chair at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Alex Campau, director of health policy at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies and former special assistant to the president for health policy. A trend she thinks deserves more attention: “The need for patients and other health care consumers to have timely access to all of their health data. … My family learned first-hand about the need for reform when we experienced complications with our second pregnancy that required us to travel to multiple doctors in different states.” Playbook Plus Q&A
BIRTHDAYS: Ben Mayer, executive producer of MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” is 35 … Rob Gifford, managing editor at CBSN, is 4-0 … Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer … Jeremy Funk is 4-0 … Doris Kearns Goodwin is 76 … James Warren, columnist for U.S. News & World Report and a Poynter alum … POLITICO’s David Kihara, Caitlin Emma and Adriel Bettelheim … Joshua Zeitz is 45 … Andy Borowitz is 61 … Samantha Slosberg … Sarah Andrews … Don Shula is 89 … Hillary Brandenburg … Holly Kinser … Myanmar is 71 on its Independence Day … Terry Lierman … Nan Aron, founder and president of Alliance for Justice … Audrey Hickenlooper … Jim Friedman is 72 … Courtney Piron, VP of federal gov’t affairs at AbbVie … Edelman alum Daria Baxter, now a doctoral student at USC’s Annenberg School … Marc Brumer, VP at the Herald Group …
… Chip Kahn, CEO and president of the Federation of American Hospitals (h/t Sean Brown) … Barbara Menard … David Muir, British political consultant, is 48 … Brunswick Group’s Qianwei Zhang … Peter Schorsch … Doug Centilli … former Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern is 52 … Jen Flaherty … Michele Remillard, EP of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” … Deborah Matteliano is 3-0 … Gabby Birenbaum … Anthony Terrell … WJLA’s Brian van de Graaff … Patrick Connolly … Joe Hansen … Belen Mendoza … Lorraine Driscoll … Jennifer Sullivan … Patrick Purtill … Adam Goldman, partner at Ironclad Partners, is 47 … Claire Zucker … Ronnie Stangler … David Phelps … Jeff Angevine … Erin Moffet … Lisa Pittman … Doug Campbell … Tiana McCall … Amanda Septimo … Joe McAndrew … Sara Throener … Thad Nation