With assist from Eli Okun and Garrett Ross
BREAKING — “Former President DONALD TRUMP’s legal professional JUSTIN CLARK interviewed with federal investigators two weeks in the past, the Justice Division revealed in a courtroom submitting early Monday morning, a big improvement that would reverberate in a number of investigations dealing with Trump’s internal circle.” Extra from Kyle Cheney
THE WEEK —As we speak: Congress is again and Senate reconciliation talks will warmth up. On the White Home, within the morning President JOE BIDEN hosts an occasion celebrating the lately handed gun laws, and within the late afternoon he previews the primary pictures from the Webb House Telescope. … Tuesday: The Jan. 6 committee holds its subsequent public listening to at 1 p.m. … Wednesday: Biden leaves for a four-day journey to Israel, the West Financial institution and Saudi Arabia. The June client value index report is launched. … Thursday: The Jan. 6 committee reportedly holds a primetime listening to. … Friday: The College of Michigan releases its subsequent client sentiment report, a carefully watched survey that recorded historic ranges of pessimism in regards to the financial system in June.
SIREN FOR HOUSE DEMS — “Home GOP marches into deeper blue terrain as Dem prospects fade,” by Ally Mutnick and Sarah Ferris: “Biden’s toxicity has given the GOP optimism about severely contesting a contemporary crop of a couple of dozen seats that the president received in 2020 by 9 factors or extra — from western Rhode Island to California’s Central Valley to the suburbs of Arizona’s capital. The result’s a Home map that has expanded to an uncomfortable place for Democrats. Survey knowledge obtained by POLITICO exhibits the president underwater by double-digit margins in 11 districts he carried.”
SIREN FOR SENATE REPUBS —“Candidate challenges, main scars have GOP anxious about Senate possibilities,” by WaPo’s Michael Scherer, Colby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey: “[F]our months from Election Day, Republicans are struggling in a number of of the marquee Senate races due to candidate challenges and campaigns nonetheless recovering from brutal Republican primaries, placing management of the higher chamber of Congress in 2023 up for grabs.”
SIREN FOR BIDEN — “Most Democrats Don’t Need Biden in 2024, New Ballot Reveals,” by NYT’s Shane Goldmacher: “President Biden is dealing with an alarming degree of doubt from inside his personal celebration, with 64 p.c of Democratic voters saying they would favor a brand new standard-bearer within the 2024 presidential marketing campaign, in response to a New York Instances/Siena Faculty ballot, as voters nationwide have soured on his management, giving him a meager 33 p.c job-approval score.”
JAN. 6 COMMITTEE PREVIEW — This will likely be one other large week for the choose committee, which is able to return Tuesday to the place its public hearings began: specializing in the home extremists who answered DONALD TRUMP’s name to descend on Washington and the Capitol as Congress counted electoral votes. At its seventh listening to the main target will likely be on the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, whose leaders face seditious conspiracy costs.
Kyle Cheney emails with a rundown of what to observe for tomorrow:
— “Anticipate an intense deal with the response throughout the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to Trump’s Dec. 19 tweet urging supporters to return to D.C. for a ‘wild’ protest. This was seen throughout the teams as a name to motion, and led to a flurry of coordination and planning.
— “Anticipate the committee to zoom in on what Trump was doing simply hours earlier than he issued the fateful tweet: huddling with legal professional SIDNEY POWELL, former nationwide safety adviser MIKE FLYNN and different fringe figures discussing plans to probably seize voting machines or invoke the Rebellion Act. Trump additionally edged towards a plan to call Powell particular counsel to pursue election fraud, prompting what some witnesses say was a resignation risk from White Home counsel PAT CIPOLLONE.
— “Which brings us to Cipollone himself. His taped testimony final Friday might come into play for the primary time through the dialogue of this extraordinary assembly.
— “The invoice of the listening to will seemingly be about the tacit however understood impression Trump’s phrases and actions had on home extremist teams — and the notice that these in Trump’s orbit had in regards to the folks his phrases had been activating. Although the listening to is unlikely to point out any express planning or coordinating between Trump and members of those teams, the important thing phrase is ‘convergence’ — the alignment of pursuits between the extremist teams and Trump as they sought to disrupt the peaceable switch of energy.”
Price noting: “Choose committee intrigue isn’t restricted to Tuesday’s listening to. The truth is, it’ll start at this time, when STEVE BANNON heads to the federal courthouse throughout from the Capitol for a vital listening to forward of his July 18 legal trial for defying the Jan. 6 committee. It’s seemingly that Decide CARL NICHOLS will press him, DOJ and committee attorneys about Bannon’s abrupt provide to testify — and whether or not that impacts prosecutors’ calculus. Bannon is searching for to postpone his trial to October, and he’s additionally preventing a longshot battle to subpoena members of the choose committee for trial testimony.”
Additionally from Kyle, Betsy Woodruff Swan and Nicholas Wu: “Meet the important thing gamers within the subsequent Jan. 6 hearings”
Good Monday morning. Thanks for studying Playbook. Drop us a line and inform us your most counterintuitive midterm prediction: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza.
GRIN AND BEAR IT — Biden heads to the Center East on Wednesday. He begins the long-awaited journey in Israel. He’ll then make a cease within the West Financial institution earlier than flying to Saudi Arabia.
Biden laid out his plans and justification for the journey in a WaPo op-ed that pointed to successes within the area on his watch, corresponding to a truce in war-ravaged Yemen.
Nahal Toosi, our senior international affairs correspondent — follow her on Twitter! — sends Playbook a number of ideas in regards to the president’s fraught journey to the Center East:
— “It’s clear from his public statements that Biden would somewhat keep away from this journey, however he can solely postpone for therefore lengthy the truth that the Center East nonetheless issues. Regardless of Biden aides’ efforts to have interaction Center East officers, the area’s leaders really feel uncared for and pine for some presidential consideration. The journey comes as Russia’s struggle on Ukraine has spiked vitality costs and threatened meals provides, making the Center East’s oil shares and transit factors all of the extra vital, and Biden is certain to lift these points. It additionally comes as China continues to solid itself to the area as a reliable different to the West, a first-rate instance of the competitors with Beijing for which Biden is attempting to arrange the US.
— “One phrase you’ll hear so much: integration — the concept the U.S. will encourage higher political, financial and safety linkages among the many nations of the Center East, together with Israel. Biden is more likely to spotlight the whole lot from the Abraham Accords to probably the concept of an air protection alliance between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The widespread enemy that’s fueling a few of this still-nascent Israeli-Arab unity is, after all, Iran. Don’t be stunned if Tehran tries to in some way seize consideration — satellite tv for pc launch, anybody? — amid the Biden go to.
— “There seemingly will likely be bulletins of new investments, new transportation hyperlinks and new assist, together with funding to assist the Palestinians. Few count on any main diplomatic breakthroughs, nonetheless, on the most important points — so no new normalization settlement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, no revival of the Iran nuclear deal, and no restarting of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
— “However let’s face it: What everybody actually desires to know is how Biden will act round Saudi Crown Prince MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN, aka the man the U.S. intelligence group has accused of ordering the killing of JAMAL KHASHOGGI. Will Biden shake his hand? Smile? Shake his hand whereas smiling? It doesn’t matter what Biden says behind closed doorways or in entrance of a mic to the highly effective younger prince, the pictures will linger longer.” ICYMI: Try Nahal’s story about how Israel is the most important winner out of Biden’s journey
FLASHBACK — From the DNI’s Feb. 11, 2021 report, “Assessing the Saudi Authorities’s Position within the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi”: “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman accepted an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to seize or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
On Sunday evening, “60 Minutes” featured an interview with SAAD ALJABRI, the previous second in charge of Saudi intelligence, who mentioned this about MBS:
“I’m right here to sound the alarm a couple of psychopath, killer, within the Center East with infinite assets, who poses risk to his folks, to the Individuals and to the planet.”
Extra POTUS journey previews: “Biden Will Discover a Modified Center East on His Coming Go to,” NYT … “Biden’s Center East Journey Is a Excessive-Threat Bid to Reset Saudi Relations,” WSJ … “In Mideast, Biden struggling to shift coverage after Trump,” AP … “Biden’s Quest for Saudi Oil Faces Actuality-Verify of Slim Capability,” Bloomberg … “Mother and father of slain Israeli-American woman search Biden assembly,” AP
— 9 a.m.: The president will obtain the President’s Every day Transient.
— 11 a.m.: Biden will host a South Garden occasion celebrating the gun reform invoice, with Biden and VP KAMALA HARRIS talking.
— 5 p.m.: Biden and Harris will get a NASA briefing and preview the inaugural Webb House Telescope pictures.
Press secretary KARINE JEAN-PIERRE will transient at 3:45 p.m.
THE SENATE will meet at 3 p.m. to take up ASHISH VAZIRANI’s nomination as deputy Protection undersecretary for personnel and readiness, with a cloture vote at 5:30 p.m.
THE HOUSE is out.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
RECONCILIATION LATEST —WaPo’s Tony Romm has a pleasant replace on the place the Dems’ reconciliation negotiations stand. Recall that two of the better gadgets have been labored out between Majority Chief CHUCK SCHUMER and Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and submitted to the Senate parliamentarian, who will resolve in the event that they cross muster with funds guidelines: (1) a plan to chop prescription drug costs for seniors, and (2) a tax on excessive earners to shore up the Medicare belief fund.
The principle information within the Romm piece is in regards to the state of play over the hardest a part of the talks: local weather and vitality coverage. Some information:
- Manchin and Schumer are anticipated to have their subsequent non-public assembly “early within the week” to debate the invoice’s local weather provisions.
- “Lawmakers for months have haggled over concepts together with new charges on producers of methane fuel, a serious contributor to world warming. In latest days, although, Democrats have mentioned scaling again the penalties to a smaller variety of vitality producers, as Manchin has sought.
- “The 2 sides stay divided over Democrats’ plans to pay the producers of fresh vitality, a coverage referred to as direct pay, and provides tax credit to individuals who purchase electrical automobiles. To assuage Manchin, celebration leaders lately have sought to cut back earlier initiatives on direct pay to cowl solely nonprofits and state-owned services. They usually have weighed whether or not to limit any tax credit for EVs in order that they don’t profit excessive earners. Ultimately, the talks might yield a local weather bundle round $300 billion to $350 billion, two folks aware of the matter, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, mentioned. The sources added they hope to finish negotiations round local weather coverage this week.”
The destiny of expiring Obamacare tax credit that subsidize medical health insurance premiums for some 13 million Individuals is much less clear:
- “Manchin privately has rejected Democrats’ preliminary plans to increase them, one of many folks aware of the matter mentioned, although the 2 sides have mentioned paring again eligibility on the premise of revenue as a strategy to decrease prices.”
THE BIG PICTURE — “Congress Juggles China Invoice, Democrats’ Local weather and Drug-Pricing Ambitions,” by WSJ’s Natalie Andrews and Richard Rubin
TIP OF THE SPEIER — Retiring Rep. JACKIE SPEIER (D-Calif.) has intimate connections to the debates on abortion, as the primary member of Congress to acknowledge on the Home ground that she’d had one, and gun violence, because the survivor of a gun bloodbath. Now, the progressive who “detests incremental modifications” is nonetheless “urging her celebration to arrange for what may very well be a decades-long battle for the sorts of gradual wins she’s notched all through her profession,” Sarah Ferris writes in a brand new profile this morning. And Speier says legislators have to time their large coverage pushes proper: “Benefit from the moments that current themselves.”
EMERGENCY NOT RULED OUT — Biden informed reporters Sunday that, contra to some reporting final week, he’s wanting into the opportunity of declaring a public well being emergency to guard abortion entry post-Roe v. Wade. The president mentioned he’d requested workers to research whether or not he’d have the authority to take action. Extra from Forbes
MIDTERMS IMPACT — Abortion is rising as a key political battering ram in Democratic primaries across the nation, as politicians hammer their opponents for inadequate abortion rights assist, Gary Fineout and Lisa Kashinsky report. The dynamic is especially pronounced within the Florida gubernatorial race, the place state Agriculture Commissioner NIKKI FRIED is searching for to realize on Rep. CHARLIE CRIST by hitting the previous Republican on abortion.
REAL-WORLD IMPACT — States which have restricted/banned abortion are seeing a large improve in orders of treatment abortion, together with a serious rise in demand for appointments at clinics in neighboring states, Ruth Reader and Ben Leonard report. “The dramatic improve highlights a post-Roe nation the place sufferers searching for abortions in states that ban the process are beset by logistical hassles and worries about authorized penalties at a time when many docs try to regulate to the brand new terrain.”
COMING SOON TO A FOX CHYRON — RiseUp 4 Abortion Rights has been a outstanding group advocating for abortion rights for the reason that finish of Roe, together with controversial protests with pretend blood. However different teams within the area are actually warning that “it’s a entrance for the Revolutionary Communist Social gathering, a fringe far-left group courting again to the Nineteen Sixties with a repute for latching onto social actions for its personal profit,” The Every day Beast’s Will Sommer experiences. They’re calling it a cult; RiseUp says the criticisms are lies and cancel tradition.
THE WHITE HOUSE
SQUARING THE QUAD — Biden’s public assist for ERIC SCHMIDT’s “Quad Fellowship” raised some inner administration issues in regards to the suitability of such an endorsement, Alex Thompson experiences this morning. “The purple flags prompted the State Division to draft speaking factors in case questions of impropriety got here up. … It’s one among many situations of Schmidt’s efforts to domesticate an in depth relationship with the Biden administration.”
RNC NEUTRALITY IN 2024 PRIMARY QUESTIONED — The RNC will face a big conundrum if and when Trump declares his 2024 candidacy: The committee has vowed to remain impartial within the race, but it surely’s at the moment selling him continuously in its fundraising appeals, Meridith McGraw experiences this morning. “[B]ehind the scenes there have been conversations on the higher ranks in regards to the quagmire,” rekindling previous debates in regards to the RNC’s neutrality — or lack thereof — in the case of its celebration’s strongest determine. However some Republicans say assist for Chair RONNA MCDANIEL stays sturdy, and that the press is more likely to deal with this problem greater than celebration members.
GOOD NEWS — “Common U.S. gasoline value falls 19 cents to $4.86 per gallon,” AP
BAD NEWS — “Because the BA.5 variant spreads, the danger of coronavirus reinfection grows,” WaPo
BEYOND THE BELTWAY
DISINFORMATION DIGEST — To the lengthy listing of points on which America is cleaving alongside partisan strains, you’ll be able to add data itself. NYT’s Steven Lee Myers and Cecilia Kang report that with out federal motion, blue states are more and more forcing social media corporations to dam misinformation, whereas purple states are pushing the platforms to keep away from censoring conservative views. Each approaches face First Modification challenges. “The outcome has been a cacophony of state payments and authorized maneuvers that would reinforce data bubbles.”
THE NEW NORMAL — “Property homeowners and officers discover methods round century-old legal guidelines because the West runs out of water,” CNN
DRIVING UP THE WALL — A significant new Guardian expose primarily based on 124,000 leaked recordsdata from Uber lays naked the ways in which the corporate “flouted legal guidelines, duped police, exploited violence towards drivers and secretly lobbied governments” around the globe, Harry Davies, Simon Goodley, Felicity Lawrence, Paul Lewis and Lisa O’Carroll report. “The Uber recordsdata,” from the TRAVIS KALANICK period, embrace a textual content from the co-founder when then-VP Biden was late to a gathering: “I’ve had my folks let him know that each minute late he’s, is one much less minute he may have with me.” Biden then apparently modified his Davos speech to laud an organization giving employees “freedom to work as many hours as they need, handle their very own lives as they need.”
The doc dump includes loads of different tales, together with this one on DAVID PLOUFFE’s and JIM MESSINA’s essential roles in lobbying for Uber. And the recordsdata, which had been shared with the Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists, are yielding many articles in different high retailers, too.
Chuck Schumer has Covid-19, with “very delicate signs,” and can work remotely this week — one other blow to Dems’ capability to hit 50 votes within the Senate.
Katherine Clark and Hakeem Jeffries had been friendly baseball rivals.
Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker hung out at Mission on the Bay in Swampscott, Mass.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Herschel Walker’s Senate marketing campaign is saying a number of large additions to its senior management workforce this morning. Chip Lake, a longtime Georgia GOP operative, is now senior adviser for marketing campaign operations. Will Kiley is becoming a member of as communications director. Gail Gitcho has signed on as communications guide. She was beforehand comms director for the RGA and Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential marketing campaign. Scott Howell is the marketing campaign’s media guide. Meredith O’Rourke is finance director, and, the press launch notes, “can be a fundraiser for President Trump.” Cora Alvi is deputy finance director. Erik Iverson is pollster. Phil Vangelakos is working the digital comms operation. Mike Alm leads digital fundraising efforts. Tom Willis is main the marketing campaign’s political mail operation. Steve Brown is main junk mail fundraising. Salvatore Purpura is marketing campaign treasurer. Jon Black is analysis director. Tim Saler leads microtargeting. Taylor Crowe is becoming a member of as political director and can oversee the sphere operation.
TRANSITIONS — Caroline Franklin is now comms director for Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas). She most lately was comms director for the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus. … Jordan Moon is now director of federal authorities relations at Kimberly-Clark. He most lately was senior supervisor of federal authorities affairs at automaker Stellantis. … Jon Otto is now chief industrial officer for advert gross sales at Crain Communications. He beforehand was SVP of shopper partnerships at Axios.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) … Schooling Secretary Miguel Cardona … Garrett Graff … Chris Maloney of Black Rock Group … Web page Gardner … Josh Wachs of Wachs Methods … Emily Benavides of the Senate Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs GOP … Urmila Venugopalan of the MPA … Nora Connors … KayAnn Schoeneman … Stacy Merrick Montejo … Paige Rusher of Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-N.C.) workplace … ONDCP’s Anne Sokolov … Joe Wall of Goldman Sachs … Andrew Kirell … Ali Schmitz of PBS NewsHour … Michael Wong of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) workplace … Stephen Hostelley … Scott Graves … AMA’s Sandy Marks … POLITICO’s Sophie Learn … Jamie Stiehm … Chris Vaeth … Matt Lahr of Sen. Todd Younger’s (R-Ind.) workplace … R&R Companions’ Paul Smith
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