President Trump said “he was alone in the White House with a plan at the ready to reopen the federal government, but close White House advisers and staff said they remained in the dark about how he would end the three-week partial shutdown,” Politico reports.
Said one Republican: “No one knows what he will do, and the president has not decided yet, so it keeps everyone guessing. This could go on another week and he could declare an emergency, or this will go on until February.”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that by a wide margin, more Americans blame President Trump and Republicans in Congress than congressional Democrats for the now record-breaking government shutdown, and most reject the president’s assertion that there is an illegal-immigration crisis on the southern border.
Key findings: “53% say Trump and the Republicans are mainly at fault, and 29% blame the Democrats in Congress. Thirteen percent say both sides bear equal responsibility for the shutdown. That is identical to the end of the 16-day shutdown in 2013, when 29% blamed then-President Barack Obama and 53% put the responsibility on congressional Republicans.”
Support for building a wall on the border, which is the principal sticking point in the stalemate between the president and Democrats, has increased over the past year. Today, 42% say they support a wall, up from 34% last January. A slight majority of Americans (54%) oppose the idea, down from 63 percent a year ago.”
“The increase in support is sharpest among Republicans… Not only has GOP support increased, it has also hardened. Today, 70% of Republicans say they strongly support the wall, an increase of 12 points since January 2018.”
According to a new CNN poll out Sunday, white people without college degrees are turning on Trump. While they still support building a wall along the US-Mexico border, their overall views of him are starting to dip. For the first time since last February, CNN has found that his approval ratings among his core constituents are in the red. Forty-seven percent of whites who don’t have college degrees disapprove of Trump; 45 percent say they approve. Among whites who do hold college degrees, Trump’s ratings are largely unchanged in the last month and remain sharply negative — 64% disapprove and 32% approve.
Overall, 56% oppose a wall, 39% favor it. And less than half view the situation at the border as a crisis (45% say it’s a crisis, 52% that it is not). Trump’s approval rating in the poll stands at 37% approve to 57% disapprove.
55% of Americans say Trump is more responsible for the shutdown than are Democrats in Congress, while 32% say the blame rests mostly with the Democrats. Another 9% say both are responsible. Independents are more apt to blame Trump (48% to 34%), and are most likely to say both sides are responsible (14%).
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested that President Trump reopen the federal government “for a short period of time” to see if Congress can reach a deal to fund a border wall, cautioning that Trump is “not going to give in” on his demands for a border wall, Axios reports.
Axios: “A freshman congresswoman who has held office for less than two weeks is dominating the Democratic conversation on Twitter, generating more interactions — retweets plus likes — than the five most prolific news organizations combined over the last 30 days.”
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is miles behind President Trump in the influence of her Twitter account. But he’s the president — she’s a new member of Congress who shot out of a cannon following the midterm elections. And she has far more power on Twitter than the most prominent Democrats, including the congressional leaders and the likely 2020 presidential candidates.”
Des Moines Register: “The list of Republicans speaking out against Rep. Steve King’s most recent controversial comments now includes both of Iowa’s U.S. senators.”
“The growing backlash follows an interview with the New York Times earlier this week in which King, who represents Iowa’s 4th District, lamented why terms like ‘white nationalist’ and ‘white supremacist’ are offensive.”
“King attempted to clarify the statements. He issued a release denouncing white nationalism and white supremacy and took to the House floor Friday to address the matter, which he called ‘a freshman mistake.’ But backtracking hasn’t slowed the blowback.”
Los Angeles Times: “There are fresh faces and old hands. Thirty-somethings and senior citizens. Billionaires and at least one person still paying off student loans. A skateboarder, a brewery founder and a coffee magnate are all taking a look.”
“Dozens of Democrats are thinking about running for president in 2020.”
“The result could be a divisive, messy set of primaries, but many Democrats are exhilarated by the prospect of a wide range of choices, mirroring the congressional races in 2018.”
A new Gallup poll finds that for the first time since 1994, more than half of Democrats, 51%, identified their political views as “liberal.”
“Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Saturday signaled to a group of about 20 influential women that she will run for president,” BuzzFeed News reports.
“Gillibrand made her intentions clear, said the source, who asked not to be identified to speak about the event. Gillibrand said that she needed their help if they would offer it to her. The closed-door gathering was attended by feminist Gloria Steinem.”
“When Washington Gov. Jay Inslee heads to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire later this month to test the 2020 waters, he might want to consider adding an apology tour,” Politico reports.
“Inslee’s decision while he chaired the Democratic Governors Association not to invest in New Hampshire’s competitive governor’s race last year still burns some of the state’s leading Democrats. Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic Party chair, said the move was so surprising that state Democrats assumed Inslee had abandoned any 2020 aspirations.”
Rudy Giuliani told The Hill that President Trump’s legal team should be allowed to “correct” special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report before Congress or the American people get the chance to read it.
Said Giuliani: “As a matter of fairness, they should show it to you — so we can correct it if they’re wrong. They’re not God, after all. They could be wrong.”