TRUMP AGENDA: Caitlin Jenner vs. Trump
Vice President Mike Pence told conservatives at CPAC Thursday that the "Obamacare nightmare is about to end" and that the policy will be rolled back "despite the best efforts of liberal activists at town halls across the country."
Caitlin Jenner is taking on Trump over his withdrawal of federal guidance regarding school bathrooms for transgender youth.
From the New York Times: "Reduced to their weakest state in a generation, Democratic Party leaders will gather in two cities this weekend to plot strategy and select a new national chairman with the daunting task of rebuilding the party's depleted organization. But senior Democratic officials concede that the blueprint has already been chosen for them — by an incensed army of liberals demanding no less than total war against President Trump."
Here's Alex Seitz-Wald's primer on how the DNC chair race will work.
From the AP: "White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, a White House official says…. Priebus' discussion with FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe sparked outrage among some Democrats, who said that the chief of staff was violating policies intended to limit communications between the law enforcement agency and the White House on pending investigations."
The New York Times, on Betsy DeVos: "[P]eople who have known and watched Ms. DeVos through the years — as a leading advocate of charter schools and school vouchers, a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman and a major Republican donor — warn against thinking that she will be a meek team player. She may be publicly gracious, even in the face of setbacks, they say. But in her home state, she earned a reputation as a driven, relentless and effective political fighter, using her family's vast fortune to reward allies and punish foes, and working behind the scenes to pass legislation and unseat lawmakers who opposed her."
The Washington Post lays out the ongoing war over town halls - and how Gabby Giffords' name was invoked.
Another Jared/Ivanka leak about their influence to help save an Obama policy, from the Wall Street Journal: "At the request of President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, language critical of a global climate deal was struck from an executive order that Mr. Trump is planning to sign soon, according to multiple people familiar with the move."
"With each passing day, Donald Trump's Cabinet looks more like a clean-up crew," writes POLITICO. "The president's undiplomatic comments are repeatedly forcing his foreign policy and national security appointees into the awkward position of telling an anxious world that, basically, their boss didn't really mean what he said."
From NBC's Benjy Sarlin: "Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon, the White House's much-scrutinized top two aides, lavished each other with praise on Thursday in a friendly panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference where Bannon laid out President Donald Trump's "new political order."
POLITICO: "[A]nalysts now caution that Trumphoria in the stock market could soon crash into a harsh Washington reality."
The Wall Street Journal: "President Donald Trump's new strategy to accelerate the fight against Islamic State will, at least initially, tweak and add a little more muscle to the existing plan, U.S. officials said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to provide to Mr. Trump a series of recommendations for that plan in the coming days. Mr. Trump on Jan. 28 signed an order directing his new Pentagon chief to come up with a preliminary draft of the plan to fight Islamic State within 30 days."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said last night that "I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam."