Day 383: Total cooperation mode.
1/ Trump’s lawyers want him to refuse an interview with Robert Mueller, because they’re concerned that he could be charged with lying to investigators. Trump, however, has said that he is “looking forward” to speaking with Mueller as part of the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia’s election interference, and whether he obstructed justice. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer Trump tapped to deal with Mueller’s investigation, has said the White House is in “total cooperation mode.” (New York Times)
2/ Steve Bannon will not testify before the House Intelligence Committee today, thus risking being held in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena. The panel wants Bannon to testify a second time in its investigation of Russian election meddling. Bannon’s January 16th appearance failed to satisfy members of the committee. (CNN / Reuters)
3/ Trump is not expected to extend the DACA deadline past March 5th. John Kelly said “Dreamers,” however, would not be a priority for deportation, even if their protections expire. Kelly told reporters that he was “not so sure this president has the authority to extend” the program. (Washington Post / Associated Press)
4/ A FEMA contractor delivered just 50,000 of 30 million ready-to-eat meals to Puerto Rico before the contract was terminated. The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the $156 million contract to an entrepreneur with no experience in large-scale disaster relief, who also had at least five previously canceled government contracts. (New York Times)
5/ Government funding set to expire on Thursday. House Republicans have moved ahead with a temporary spending measure that would raise strict caps on military and domestic spending. Senate Democrats have promised to block the bill. They want to pair an increase in military spending with a similar increase in domestic spending. The measure needs 60 votes to pass the Senate, where Republicans hold 51 seats. (New York Times)
6/ Trump: “I’d love to see a shutdown” if Democrats don’t agree to his immigration plan, which would offer a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children in exchange for funding for his border wall and deep cuts to legal immigration. Government funding will lapse if Congress cannot pass a spending bill by the end of Thursday. (The Hill / CNBC)
Devin Nunes admitted that the FBI actually did disclose the political backing of the Steele dossier in its FISA application to surveil Carter Page. The Republican memo accused the FBI and Justice Department of anti-Trump bias because they allegedly didn’t disclose that the Steele dossier was financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The FBI’s FISA application disclosed this detail in a footnote, which the GOP memo failed to mention. (Politico)
Trump will be briefed on the Democratic memo. John Kelly said that Trump has the 10-page document, but has not yet read it, telling reporters that “it’s pretty lengthy.” (The Hill)
Jeff Sessions called for a “fresh start” at the FBI following Andrew McCabe’s decision to step down. Sessions added that there has been an “erosion” of public trust in the Justice Department and that “we need to go the extra mile to make sure that everything we do is not political.” (CNN)
Kellyanne Conway’s “opioid cabinet” has been relying on political staff to address the crisis instead of drug policy professionals. Trump hasn’t named a permanent director for the office and the acting director hasn’t been invited to Conway’s opioid cabinet meetings. (Politico)
The House passed a measure requiring lawmakers to pay their own awards and settlements in sexual harassment cases instead of using taxpayer funds. (Reuters)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump as “clearly joking” when he accused Democrats of treason for not standing and applauding during his State of the Union address. (CNN)
A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to impeach five Democratic state justices who found the Republican-drawn congressional districts map to be in violation of the Pennsylvania constitution. (New York Magazine)
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