TRANSITION WATCH: Trump, intel agencies can’t even agree what day it is
NBC’s investigative team lays out how the gulf between intelligence agencies and Trump’s team has grown so wide that they can’t even agree on the scheduled day of his briefing on Russian hacking.
From the New York Times: “Just a year ago, they might have seemed the oddest of couples. But now President-elect Donald J. Trump and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, have formed a united front against the conclusion of American intelligence agencies that Russian intelligence used hacked emails to interfere in the presidential election.”
“President-elect Donald Trump’s broadside against the intelligence community is dividing Capitol Hill Republicans, with some ready to pounce on Trump’s skepticism that Russia interfered with the U.S. elections and others urging a more cautious approach,” writes the Washington Post. “The resulting schism could widen as Congress begins probing the CIA’s charges that Russia intervened in the November elections in an attempt to help Trump, potentially becoming one of the first significant intraparty breaches of the Trump presidency.”
From POLITICO: “As the president-elect's top national security picks prepare to testify before Congress starting next week, his transition team is plotting ways to prevent a public spectacle that airs their most wildly divergent assessments of the threat Russia poses, according to two members of the Trump camp directly involved in the deliberations.”
One of us(!) looks at the changes in how Republicans and Democrats have viewed the CIA in the last two decades.
And from the Wall Street Journal: “President-elect Donald Trump, a harsh critic of U.S. intelligence agencies, is working with top advisers on a plan that would restructure and pare back the nation’s top spy agency, people familiar with the planning said. The move is prompted by his belief that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become bloated and politicized, these people said.”
A reminder from POLITICO: “Donald Trump is being forced to take a big time-out from his frenzied planning for the White House, sitting down as soon as Thursday for a sworn, videotaped deposition in Trump Tower that could stretch for as long as seven hours… The deposition expected to occur this week stems from a suit he filed after prominent Washington chef Jose Andres backed out of plans to open a Spanish-themed restaurant at Trump’s new luxury hotel in Washington.”
TRUMP AGENDA: Keeping track of Trump’s changing positions
NBC’s Jane Timm is keeping track of the policy evolutions in Trump’s platform post-election.
Mitch McConnell says the American public “will not tolerate” a Democratic block of Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
Leigh Ann Caldwell sums up Barack Obama’s pep rally for Democrats as they face attacks on the ACA.
An interesting note from the New York Times on some focus groups put together by the Kaiser Foundation: “Though the participants did not agree on everything, they expressed remarkably similar opinions on many health care questions. They were not, by and large, angry about their health care; they were simply afraid they will be unable to afford coverage for themselves and their families…They spoke anxiously about rising premiums, deductibles, copays and drug costs. They were especially upset by surprise bills for services they believed were covered. They said their coverage was hopelessly complex. Those with marketplace insurance — for which they were eligible for subsidies — saw Medicaid as a much better deal than their insurance and were resentful that people with incomes lower than theirs could get it.”
DEM WATCH: Perriello to run for VA GOV
Looking ahead to 2017 Virginia governors’ race: former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello will reportedly seek the nomination, battling with Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam for the nod.
Bernie Sanders used an oversized printout of a Trump tweet to emphasize Trump’s past opposition to entitlement cuts.