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First Read's Morning Clips: On the air in Arizona

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day
Image: House Homeland Security Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) speaks during a news conference on Jan. 10, 2018.
House Homeland Security Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) speaks during a news conference on Jan. 10, 2018.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

MIDTERM MADNESS: McSally airs first TV ad

2020: L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, who is eyeing a 2020 run, tells NBC’s Jonathan Allen that “judging from what’s coming from this White House, I might be overqualified.”

AZ-SEN: Martha McSally has turned her campaign-launch video into a TV ad. Politico reports that the buy is 114,000 on Fox News and $26,000 on Phoenix broadcast.

AZ-1: Retired Air Force pilot Wendy Rogers has jumped into the GOP primary race to challenge Tom O’Halleran.

CO-SEN: Democrat Jason Crow outraised Mike Coffman in the latest fundraising quarter, although he’s behind on cash-on-hand.

IN-SEN: An internal poll released by Todd Rokita’s campaign shows him at 24 percent, with about 9 percent each for Luke Messer and Mike Braun.

KS-GOV: After Brownback’s confirmation as ambassador for international religious freedom, the Kansas City Star looks back at his controversial legacy.

MO-GOV: Missouri Democrats want Gov. Eric Greitens to sign an affidavit legally certifying that he didn’t attempt to blackmail the woman with whom he had an affair.

MT-SEN: Republicans are hoping to make Jon Tester pay for his shutdown vote.

NJ-SEN: The latest with the Menendez trial, via Bloomberg: “U.S. District Judge William Walls on Wednesday acquitted Menendez and a Florida eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, on seven of the 18 charges they faced at a trial that ended in a hung jury last November. The Justice Department said last week that it intended to retry both men in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. Walls also told prosecutors and defense lawyers that he would no longer oversee the case.”

OH-GOV: No one in Ohio wants John Kasich’s endorsement, apparently — even the candidate who has it.

PA-18: Democrat Conor Lamb is up with his latest TV ad in his March race against Republican Rick Saccone, stressing bipartisanship and ending gridlock in Washington. “I have no doubt that we can make progress on a lot of these issues – no matter what party they’re in. Because it happened all the time in the Marines,” Lamb says in the ad.

TX-21: In your TV ad of the day, here’s Republican Robert Stovall standing in a swamp and clutching a gun at the very of the clip. “Like president Trump, I realize the swamp is a problem. I’m running for Congress to help President Trump get rid of the establishment politicians who have failed to support his agenda.”

And don’t miss this cool gerrymandering project from the folks over at FiveThirtyEight.


Trump has arrived in Davos. NBC’s Adam Edelman previews his pitch.

FYI: John Kelly is not on the Davos trip. White House spokesman Raj Shah: “Chief Kelly stayed in Washington, DC to work on immigration reform, while remaining in close contact with the President, U.S. delegation and staff in Davos.”

Trump said yesterday he is willing to speak to Mueller “under oath.” And/but: “In a phone interview after Trump’s impromptu comments, White House special counsel Ty Cobb qualified the president’s remarks, saying Trump was willing to testify under oath “subject to the terms being negotiated by his personal counsel.” Cobb said those terms were still being negotiated.”

Should Trump’s lawyers let him talk to investigators? NBC’s Danny Cevallos breaks it down.

Trump said yesterday that he’s open to giving DACA recipients a path to citizenship in 10-12 years, but an administration official later said that’s a discussion point rather than a policy plan.

Who doesn’t want legal status for Dreamers? The New York Times talks to some who don’t like the idea.

POLITICO notes how it may be hard for the GOP to make voters notice if they get a tax cut.

The Washington Post reports on some of the blowback for Trump’s tariff plans.

From NBC’s Mike Memoli: “An FBI lawyer’s cryptic reference to a “secret society” during a text exchange with a colleague has given Republicans fresh ammunition in their apparent effort to cast doubt on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, as congressional investigators increasingly turn their focus to the conduct of top federal law enforcement officials… [Sen. Ron] Johnson released two pages out of the 384 pages of texts between Strzok and Page that the Justice Department turned over to Congress last Friday, though none included the “secret society” reference he has mentioned publicly. But a separate congressional Republican source provided the exchange in question to NBC News. Sent within hours after Mr. Trump won the presidency, it shows Strozk and Page expressing concern in texts about what lay ahead. “Seems kind of depressing,” Page wrote Strzok. ‘Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society.’”