Newsweek: “A German bank reportedly has evidence of ‘suspicious transactions’ related to Jared Kushner’s family accounts and is willing to hand the information over to Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller.”
“Well, very simply, you have to get everybody in a room. You have to be a leader. The president has to lead. He’s got to get the Speaker of the House and everybody else in a room, and they have to make a deal. You have to be nice, and be angry, and be wild, and cajole, and do all sorts of things. But you have to get a deal.”
— Donald Trump, on Fox News during the government shutdown in 2013.
The Trump campaign released a new campaign ad calling Democratic lawmakers “complicit” in all murders committed by undocumented immigrants.
TPM:”The spot seems unlikely to ease tensions on Capitol Hill as the Senate tries to negotiate a compromise on the fate of the 700,000 immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children in order to reopen the shuttered federal government.”
“I can make the case for losing 27 or 28 seats. What difference does a majority make?”
— Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), quoted by The Hill, arguing that losing control of the House would be painful but would not feel dramatically different.
“Republicans and Democrats spent the first hours of the government shutdown Saturday taking partisan shots and moving no closer to resolving the funding crisis,” Politico reports.
“Republicans accused Democrats of prioritizing “illegal immigrants” over American citizens by insisting that protections for young immigrants facing deportation be included in any spending deal… Democrats countered that the situation is a product of President Donald Trump’s constantly shifting positions and embrace of the most hard-line stance on immigration.”
Washington Post: “Sensing the upper hand, top House Republicans have ruled out negotiating on a major Democratic priority — immigration policy — until the shutdown ends.”
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Washington Post: “The attendance of members of Russia’s elite at Trump’s inauguration was evidence of the high anticipation in Moscow of a thaw in U.S.-Russia relations, following a campaign in which Trump stunned U.S. foreign policy experts by repeatedly praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
“As questions about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election were beginning to percolate publicly, prominent business leaders and activists from that country attended inaugural festivities, mingling at balls and receptions — at times in proximity to key American political officials.”
“Their presence caught the attention of counterintelligence officials at the FBI.”
“Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with jello. It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward the hard right forces the president three steps back… It’s next to impossible to strike a deal with the president because he can’t stick to the terms.”
— Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), quoted by The Hill, on President Trump’s efforts to prevent a government shutdown.
In his first interview since acknowledging an extramarital affair, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) told the Associated Press that there was “no blackmail” and “no threat of violence” by him in what he described as a months-long “consensual relationship” with his former hairdresser.
Greitens added that he has no plans to resign from office as a result of the affair: “I’m staying. I’m staying.”
“Grietens did not directly say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when asked if he had bound and blindfolded and taken a photo of the woman. But he firmly denied that he had attempted to coerce the woman.”
Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), “who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her,” the New York Times reports.
“A married father of three, Mr. Meehan, 62, had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide, who was decades younger and had regarded the congressman as a father figure… But after the woman became involved in a serious relationship with someone outside the office last year, Mr. Meehan professed his romantic desires for her — first in person, and then in a handwritten letter — and he grew hostile when she did not reciprocate.”
“She later reached a confidential agreement with Mr. Meehan’s office that included a settlement for an undisclosed amount to be paid from Mr. Meehan’s congressional office fund.”
For members: Republicans Are Reeling In Pennsylvania
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) blasted Congress on Friday as a government funding deadline approached, slamming the government as being “run by idiots,” The Hill reports.
Said Kennedy: “Our country was founded by geniuses, but it’s being run by idiots.”
Another of Kennedy’s colleagues, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), made similar remarks on the Senate floor, saying that the Senate has “some really stupid people.”
“Activists are returning to the streets a year after a million people rallied worldwide at marches for female empowerment, hoping to create an enduring political movement that will elect more women to government office,” the AP reports.
“Hundreds of gatherings are planned Saturday and Sunday across the U.S. and in places such as Beijing, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Nairobi, Kenya.”
“Congress prepared to return to work Saturday as negotiators pressed for a budget deal to keep a government shutdown that began at midnight shortlived.,” the Washington Post reports.
“Agencies shut down for the first time in more than four years late Friday after senators rejected a temporary spending patch and bipartisan efforts to find an alternative fell short as a midnight deadline came and went.”
“Republican and Democratic leaders both said they would continue to talk, raising the possibility of a solution over the weekend. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Friday that the conflict has a “really good chance” of being resolved before government offices open Monday, suggesting that a shutdown’s impacts could be limited.”
Politico: Inside the frantic 24 hours that led to a shutdown.
“A short-term spending bill failed to advance in the Senate late Friday due to opposition from Democrats and some Republicans, virtually assuring a government shutdown at midnight,” the Washington Post reports.