TRUMP’S SCHEDULE TODAY
1:30 p.m.: President Donald Trump will lead a prison reform roundtable at the White House.
2:45 p.m.: Trump will meet with his national security team.
DAILY BRIEFING: Press secretary Sarah Sanders will brief the press at the White House at 2:15 p.m.
TRUMP’S TWITTER THIS MORNING: “Disproven and paid for by Democrats ‘Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?’ @foxandfriends Did Dems or Clinton also pay Russians? Where are hidden and smashed DNC servers? Where are Crooked Hillary Emails? What a mess! … In new Quinnipiac Poll, 66% of people feel the economy is ‘Excellent or Good.’ That is the highest number ever recorded by this poll. … ‘House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.’ This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others? … ‘45 year low in illegal immigration this year.’ @foxandfriends.”
MUELLER LATEST: From the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey: “President Trump on Wednesday declined to say whether he would grant an interview to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team, deflecting questions on the topic by saying there had been ‘no collusion’ between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. ‘We’ll see what happens,’ Trump said when asked directly about meeting with the special counsel.”
TRUMP’S OBAMACARE DEMISE PLAN: From POLITICO’s Jennifer Haberkorn: “Early last year as an Obamacare repeal bill was flailing in the House, top Trump administration officials showed select House conservatives a secret road map of how they planned to gut the health law using executive authority. The March 23 document, which had not been public until now, reveals that while the effort to scrap Obamacare often looked chaotic, top officials had actually developed an elaborate plan to undermine the law — regardless of whether Congress repealed it. Top administration officials had always said they would eradicate the law through both legislative and executive actions, but never provided the public with anything close to the detailed blueprint shared with the members of the House Freedom Caucus, whose confidence — and votes — President Donald Trump was trying to win at the time. The blueprint, built off the executive order to minimize Obamacare’s ‘economic burden,’ that Trump signed just hours after taking the oath of office, shows just how advanced the administration’s plans were to unwind the law — plans that would become far more important after the legislative efforts to repeal Obamacare failed.”
CAPITOL HILL UPDATE: From POLITICO’s Rachael Bade and Sarah Ferris: “Republican leaders are considering skipping passage of a GOP budget this year — a blow to the party’s weakened fiscal hawks that would squash all 2018 efforts to revamp entitlements or repeal Obamacare. White House and Hill GOP leaders discussed the possibility of forgoing the painful budget process during last weekend’s Camp David legislative summit, according to four sources familiar with the talks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has argued that he cannot pass controversial deficit-reduction legislation using powerful budget procedures with his new 51-vote majority — and wasn’t even sure he could find the votes for a fiscal blueprint in the first place. Abandoning the budget, however, would be an embarrassment for Republicans, who for years railed against Democrats when they avoided one of the most basic responsibilities of Congress.”
INSIDE THE WEST WING: From POLITICO’s Andrew Restuccia: “White House chief of staff John Kelly sent a memo to staff on Wednesday detailing the upcoming ban on personal cellphones in the West Wing — and cautioning that violators could be subject to ‘disciplinary action.’ The ban, according to a copy of the memo obtained by POLITICO and confirmed by two White House officials, goes into effect on Jan. 16. It bans ‘all portable electronic devices’ not issued or authorized by the White House from ‘being carried into or otherwise possessed’ in the West Wing from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.”