1 Trump Invites Congressional Leaders To Border Briefing
Is there a thaw afoot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Who knows, but for the first time in weeks, President Trump is inviting leaders of Congress from both sides of aisle to the White House for a briefing on border security. The meeting, which is set for today, will be led by officials from the Department of Homeland Security. The top two leaders from each party in both the House and the Senate are invited to attend - that includes, of course, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The timing couldn’t be more appropriate – as the briefing comes just a day before Democrats take control of the House. Democrats and the White House are at an impasse over ending a partial government shutdown, with the sticking point being funding for a border wall. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is reaching out to presumed incoming House Speaker Pelosi via Twitter – and it appears to be the most interested in ‘dealmaking’ he’s been in a while. Maybe. With the partial shutdown into its second week, the timing couldn’t be better. "Border Security and the Wall 'thing' and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker!” he wrote. “Let’s make a deal?"
2 Elizabeth Warren Throws Her Hat Into 2020 Race
As we officially enter the 2020 Election Campaign “season,” we have our first challenger in Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat is forming an exploratory committee for a run for the White House. Speaking in Boston, Warren said she's “in the fight for working families.” Considering her other remark – that she's “looking to build a nationwide grassroots movement to support her run” – it shouldn't surprise anyone that Senator Warren will be spending this weekend in Iowa. Warren's Presidential Exploratory Committee says she'll be making stops in Sioux City, Des Moines, Storm Lake and Council Bluffs. Given the rancor President Trump has offered in Warren’s direction in recent years, his reaction to her taking steps toward running against him shouldn’t surprise anyone. In an interview with Fox News, Trump was asked whether Warren really believes she has a chance of beating him in 2020. Trump said he wasn't sure, adding "You'd have to ask her psychiatrist."
3 Family Of American Arrested On Spy Charges In Russia Worried For His Safety
In a world where people are increasingly becoming pawns in political games, it should surprise no one that Russia has the United States – and her citizens – in their crosshairs. That’s the case for 48-year-old retired Marine Paul Whelan, who was arrested in Moscow last week – on what officials are calling a "spy mission." Whelan’s family – who maintains he was only attending a wedding (something he’s done before in the country) – says they are extremely worried about his safety, claiming "his innocence is undoubted and we trust his rights will be respected." And they should be worried. Russian law mandates foreigners found guilty of espionage face between ten and 20 years in jail. Under the Vienna Convention, Russia's obligations say consular access must be provided within a 72-hour window of the arrest…but it turns out that the U.S. government shutdown may have hindered a visit. At press time, there were no updates on Whelan's status.