New York Times: “Just under four years after he began his takeover of a party to which he had little connection, Mr. Trump enters 2020 burdened with the ignominy of being the first sitting president to seek re-election after being impeached.”
“But he does so wearing a political coat of armor built on total loyalty from G.O.P. activists and their representatives in Congress. If he does not enjoy the broad admiration Republicans afforded Ronald Reagan, he is more feared by his party’s lawmakers than any occupant of the Oval Office since at least Lyndon Johnson.”
“His iron grip was never firmer than over the last two months, during the House inquiry that concluded Wednesday with Mr. Trump’s impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. No House Republican supported either article, or even authorized the investigation in September, and in hearing after hearing into the president’s dealings with Ukraine, they defended him as a victim of partisan fervor. One Republican even said that Jesus had received fairer treatment before his crucifixion than Mr. Trump did during his impeachment.”
“It is billed as an easy and secure way to chat by video or text message with friends and family, even in a country that has restricted popular messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype,” the New York Timesreports.
“But the service, ToTok, is actually a spying tool, according to American officials familiar with a classified intelligence assessment and a New York Times investigation into the app and its developers. It is used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to try to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install it on their phones.”
“Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), who won a stunning special election victory in 2017 and faces a difficult reelection campaign next year, said Sunday that he remains undecided on whether President Trump should be removed from office,” the Washington Post reports.
“Jones — a former prosecutor and moderate Democrat representing a deeply conservative state that overwhelming backed Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 — said he is keeping his mind open ahead of the pending Senate trial, following the House’s vote to impeach the president last week.”
“Andrew Yang said he does not think Trump should be facing criminal charges and would consider pardoning Trump if he were in fact prosecuted,” NBC News reports. I guess Yang has had enough and just wants to end his campaign
Washington Post: “After three years in office, President Trump has remade the federal judiciary, ensuring a conservative tilt for decades and cementing his legacy no matter the outcome of November’s election.”
“Trump nominees make up 1 in 4 U.S. circuit court judges. Two of his picks sit on the Supreme Court. And this past week, as the House voted to impeach the president, the Republican-led Senate confirmed an additional 13 district court judges.”
“In total, Trump has installed 187 judges to the federal bench.”
Using stark “us vs. them” language, President Trump and his reelection campaign have begun framing his impeachment not as a judgment on his conduct but as a referendum on how Democrats regard him and his supporters, the AP reports.
“His campaign believes that anger at impeachment may be the motivation needed to bring out voters who stayed home in the 2016 election but approve of the president and are fed up with the Washington establishment.”
After criticism following news of her Senate election fundraising practices, Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters that she “saw how this system works” and decided to quit high dollar fundraising for her 2020 presidential campaign, CNN reports.
Said Warren: “I saw how this system works. And I decided when I got in the presidential race that I wanted to do better than that. And that’s why I just quit doing it. I don’t sell access to my time. I don’t call high dollar fundraisers. I’m out there raising money grassroots all across this country, because I want to move this in the right direction, we can’t be a country that just keeps getting worse and worse.”
A new Morning Consult poll finds a majority of voters approve of impeaching President Trump, 52% to 43%.
“President Trump on Saturday largely ignored that he had become the third impeached president in history as he rallied young conservative activists with campaign-style attacks on the ‘far-left ruling class’ at the start of a two-week vacation,” the New York Times reports.
“Instead, the president made it clear that he intended to seek re-election with the messages he has been delivering for years: a relentless attack on liberalism, promises of abortion restrictions and gun rights, denunciations of environmentalism, and a vow to secure the southwestern border against what he calls ‘criminal aliens.’”
“With the Democratic presidential nomination still very much up for grabs, candidates sprinted from the year’s final presidential debate in Los Angeles to Iowa this weekend, hoping to get a jump on a frenetic month of campaigning ahead of the state’s Feb. 3 caucuses,” the Los Angeles Timesreports.
“Iowa’s pull, always powerful because it hosts the first contest of the nominating season, is stronger than ever because the race is one of the most volatile in years. Many Iowa Democrats say they are still making up their minds.”
“In signing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that includes Space Force, Trump claimed a victory for one of his top national security priorities just two days after being impeached by the House,” the APreports.
“Space Force has been a reliable applause line at Trump’s political rallies, but for the military it’s seen more soberly as an affirmation of the need to more effectively organize for the defense of U.S. interests in space — especially satellites used for navigation and communication. Space Force is not designed or intended to put combat troops in space.”
The RNC goes into the presidential election year with more than seven times as much cash on hand as the DNC: $63 million vs. $8.3 million, according to FEC filings.
Mike Allen: “This is a stark new sign of what we’ve been reporting all year — that President Trump’s digitally driven campaign is giving him a massive fundraising and organizing advantage over whoever emerges from the Democratic race.”