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TRANSITION WATCH: Whirlwind Week
NBC’s Benjy Sarlin previews how Trump will have to navigate a whirlwind week of Cabinet hearings and questions about his own potential business conflicts.
From NBC’s Tom Winter: “Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state boasts investments in Chinese and Russian firms among his almost $500 million in total assets, documents show. NBC News obtained a copy of Rex Tillerson's Public Financial Disclosure Report that was submitted as part of the vetting process for the ExxonMobil CEO and chairman's nomination to the role. It details Tillerson's financial holdings — including numerous stock holdings in U.S., European and Asian companies.”
Sen. Cory Booker will testify against Sen. Jeff Sessions in his confirmation hearing this week, the first time in Senate history that a fellow member of the chamber will testify against a fellow sitting senator.
POLITICO looks at Jeff Sessions’ strategy to counter allegations of racism.
The Washington Post: “Key disclosure reports for four out of nine of Donald Trump’s nominees subject to Senate confirmation hearings this week had yet to be made public by late Monday, underscoring concerns from the Office of Government Ethics that it is being rushed to approve the documentation. The first nomination hearing is slated for Tuesday, for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, whose ethics report has been completed. But paperwork for some other nominees was not available. For example, the ethics report had yet to be made public for Betsy DeVos, the billionaire who is slated to head the Department of Education. Devos’s confirmation hearing was originally set for Wednesday, but was postponed on Monday night to Jan. 17.”
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will serve as a senior adviser to the president.
More from the New York Times: “Mr. Kushner’s plan is to sell assets to his brother and to a trust overseen by his mother, said Ms. Gorelick, who added that she had been consulting with federal ethics officials in an attempt to minimize opposition to Mr. Kushner’s appointment. Under the arrangement, Mr. Kushner will divest his holdings in his family real estate firm’s flagship property at 666 Fifth Avenue; sell his stake in the New York Observer newspaper; divest his interest in his brother’s firm, Thrive Capital; and restructure other investments. He will also divest of all foreign investments, said Ms. Gorelick, who served as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration. He will have to recuse himself on matters that could relate to his wife’s businesses and his remaining holdings, she added.”
The Washington Post: “[O]n the eve of the much-anticipated announcement Wednesday by Trump detailing how he intends to wall off his presidency from the company, it has become clear that Trump’s approach is unlikely to eliminate all of the potential pitfalls stemming from the complex web of real estate holdings, partnerships and merchandising agreements that make up the Trump Organization.”
There are more plagiarism woes for Monica Crowley, via POLITICO.
TRUMP AGENDA: Obamacare repeal hits a roadblock?
“Anxiety about repealing Obamacare without a replacement got a lot more visible in the U.S. Senate on Monday evening, as a half-dozen Republican senators called publicly for slowing down the process,” the Huffington Post writes. “It’s not clear how strongly these senators feel about it, or whether they are willing to defy party leadership over how and when efforts to repeal Obamacare proceed.” More: “But at least three other GOP senators have now expressed reservations about eliminating the Affordable Care Act without first settling on an alternative. That brings the total to nine ― well more than the three defections it would take to deprive Republicans of the majority they would likely need to get repeal through Congress. And the restlessness isn’t confined to the Senate. Members of the House Freedom Caucus on Monday evening issued their own call for slowing down the repeal process.”
The New York Times offers a deep dive into the family and political philosophy of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to run the Department of Education.
The Wall Street Journal: “The election of Donald Trump has sparked one of the most pitched lobbying efforts in Washington in years as the prospect of business-friendly policy changes has companies from the airline industry to Wall Street launching new blitzes. Oil and gas firms are pressing to roll back federal regulations on drilling. Verizon Inc. and other large telecommunications firms want changes to the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules. Airlines are seeking stronger enforcement of an aviation agreement that they believe favors foreign carriers on the most prized international routes. Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and other defense contractors are scrambling to protect against cuts in the Pentagon’s budget.”
From Alex Moe: “The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Monday vowed to continue the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server despite the former secretary of state's defeat in the 2016 presidential election. "Just because there was a political election doesn't mean it goes away, so of course I am going to continue to pursue that," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told reporters.”
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will forego the traditional formula of laying out his achievements and policy goals when he gives his final State of the State address Tuesday. Instead, he plans to use the entire speech to put forth a plan to fight the nation's drug epidemic, sources close to the governor told NBC News.”
The New York Times: “The speed of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act has stunned health industry lobbyists, leaving representatives of insurance companies, hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical makers in disarray and struggling for a response to a legislative quick strike that would upend much of the American health care system.”
DEM WATCH: Obama’s farewell
The AP previews Obama’s big farewell speech tonight.
POLITICO writes that Hillary Clinton isn’t saying no to a New York City mayoral run despite the fact that she is almost certain not to pursue it. “She is almost certain not to run for mayor, they say, but there’s a legitimate interest in finding some way to stay involved, aware that there’s no place for her in national politics anymore and that many Democrats don’t want to hear from her after losing to Donald Trump.”
Former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook writes how the Russian hacking has a “chilling effect” and is a potential vulnerability for future campaigns and current institutions. “The chilling effect of these attacks can be very public, and very personal. But they can also be more subtle, impeding dialogue within an organization. For all the fanfare we give the internet for freeing speech, when it is weaponized against you, it can also be used to stifle speech. At the D.N.C., certain conversations could take place only on an encrypted phone app, which made communicating more complicated logistically.”