TRUMP AGENDA: We were (no longer) staying in Paris
Donald Trump is expected to announce today whether or not the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Here’s NBC’s Benjy Sarlin on what happens if America does withdraw.
From the New York Times: “An American exit could prompt other countries to withdraw from the pact or rethink their emissions pledges, making it much harder to achieve the agreement’s already difficult goal of limiting global warming to a manageable level. It means the United States — the country with the largest, most dynamic economy — would give up a leadership role when it comes to finding solutions for climate change.”
POLITICO writes that Bannon and Pruitt boxed Trump in on the deal. “Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt have sought to outsmart the administration’s pro-Paris group of advisers, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who were hoping the president could be swayed by a global swell of support for the deal from major corporations, U.S. allies, Al Gore and even the pope. But some of that pro-Paris sentiment wound up being surprisingly tepid, according to White House aides who had expected that European leaders would make a stronger case during Trump’s trip abroad earlier this month.”
The Washington Post: “The Trump administration is moving toward handing back to Russia two diplomatic compounds, near New York City and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, that its officials were ejected from in late December as punishment for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. President Barack Obama said Dec. 29 that the compounds were being “used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes” and gave Russia 24 hours to vacate them. Separately, Obama expelled from the United States what he said were 35 Russian ‘intelligence operatives.’”
From Alex Moe and Kasie Hunt: “The House Intelligence Committee issued seven subpoenas Wednesday as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, four of them related to the Russia probe — and three about any "unmasking" of Trump associates by Obama officials. According to a congressional source, the three subpoenas related to unmasking were seeking information on any unmasking requests by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.”
James Comey is expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Community — if Trump doesn’t block him. And the Wall Street Journal reports that Comey will say that Trump asked him to back off on the investigation of Michael Flynn.
The New York Times looks at the history of back channel communications.
Time Magazine profiles Jared Kushner.
Matt Bai writes for Yahoo News: “The more the narrative focuses on Trump’s toughness and bluster with our allies, the less anyone focuses on what’s really been exposed in these opening months of his presidency. Trump is weak, and our rivals have figured it out. They’re walking all over the American president in a way we haven’t seen since at least the days of disco and Space Invaders.”
Andrew Rafferty reports on Hillary Clinton’s comments yesterday about the 2016 race: “Hillary Clinton provided a lengthy and in-depth deconstruction Wednesday about the confluence of factors she believes cost her the 2016 presidential election, arguing that some in the United States must have helped Russians ‘weaponize’ information to use against her. The former Democratic nominee stopped short of saying President Donald Trump or one of his associates colluded with Moscow, but she said there are plenty of unanswered questions that suggest coordination was possible.”
Remember the victims of immigrant crime who Trump appeared with several times during the campaign? POLITICO follows up with some who aren’t happy with the way they were treated.
Worth watching: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state against makers of prescription painkillers, alleging that they fueled the opioid epidemic.
OFF TO THE RACES: Biden has a new PAC. Is 2020 next?
Alex Seitz-Wald asks if Joe Biden’s new PAC is a step toward a 2020 run.
The Washington Post looks at the political future of a Republican who sometimes bucks the president: Jeff Flake.
GA-6: Jon Ossoff says “history will condemn us” if the United States withdraws from the Paris accords.
The candidates are still battling over how many times they may debate each other.
The NRCC is out with another very grim ad attacking Ossoff — this time for supporting the Iran deal.
NJ-GOV: NJ.com compares the candidates on education funding.
VA-GOV: Ed Gillespie is in a tight spot on immigration, writes the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Corey Stewart is comparing work that Gillespie’s lobbying firm did for Tyson Foods to “human trafficking.”