**CAPITOL HILL FIREWORKS EXPECTED AHEAD OF IMMIGRATION TALKS
**SENATOR MITT ROMNEY DECIDES TO START 2019 WITH A BANG
**SCATHING OP-ED IN THE ULTRA LIBERAL WASHINGTON POST OF POTUS
**TRUMP FIRES BACK – COMPARING HIM TO TURNCOAT JEFF FLAKE
**NOKO TALKS BACK ON THE TABLE TO DISCUSS A SUMMIT ON SANCTIONS
**NY TIMES EDITOR CALLS OUT THE PAPERS ETHICS & TRUMP HATING BIAS
4:05 PM ET – Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, author of Trump’s America: The Truth about Our Nation’s Great Comeback, his latest NY Times bestseller, gives us his perspective on the comments by Mitt Romney, the battle on Capitol Hill and the fight for 2020. Gingrich’s comments on Mitt Romney’s piece on the President:
“I can’t figure out why, strategically, he thought that was helpful to him. … I think Romney would like to be president now. Stylistically, they’re so different. I suspect every morning when Romney gets up he gets angry, just because Trump is so different than he is,” said Gingrich.
The former Georgia Republican congressman said the Senate “does not care who you used to be” and he will not get special treatment because he was the GOP presidential nominee in 2012.
“He needs to learn how the Senate works. … He’ll just plain lose. You can’t take Trump on in his own party. It’s not possible,” said Gingrich.
4:30 PM ET – John Solomon of The Hill, joins us to talk about the updates in the Russia Probe, the demands from Rudy Giuliani, and some of the strange aspects of General Flynn’s interview with the FBI that have gotten zero mainstream media press:
Oddity No. 1: Then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe personally contacted Flynn on the second full working day of the Trump administration and asked him to meet with FBI agents, a meeting that McCabe reportedly characterized as no big deal. That should have been Flynn’s first red flag. The FBI doesn’t do “no big deal” interviews.
Oddity No. 2: The fact that a 302 was immediately generated is an oddity. A 302 normally is used only as a reporting mechanism in criminal cases when it is anticipated that the information obtained may be used in subsequent litigation and testimony. It usually is not used in counterintelligence investigations.
Oddity No. 3: The interview results reflected on the 302 seem untethered from the Russia collusion counterintelligence investigation. The only way FBI agents can legitimately interview Flynn is through an authorized FBI investigation — in this case, the Russia collusion counterintelligence case examining “links” between the Russian government and the Trump campaign to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.
5:05 PM ET – Maria Elvira, Cuban-American journalist and broadcast TV presenter, who has worked for CNN, Univision and Telemundo and Jessica Vaughn, Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, address the meetings today on Capitol Hill regarding the shutdown and illegal immigration. While the Democrats bicker about the cost of the wall they neglect to address the cost of illegal immigrants on the nation, not the least of which is the loss of life of American citizens. Via Axios:
Trump’s plan for today’s shutdown meeting
On Day 12 of the shutdown, President Trump plans to hold today’s meeting with congressional leaders in the Situation Room as a way of dramatizing security concerns at the border, according to Hill sources in both parties.
Top House and Senate leaders from both parties RSVP’d “yes” to yesterday’s invitation and will attend, I’m told. Talks were on ice over the holidays, lending drama to face-to-face negotiations despite widespread skepticism about a breakthrough.
With some Republicans worried Trump hasn’t used the bully pulpit deftly enough during the shutdown, this is a chance for Trump to regain the offensive before Democrats take control of the House tomorrow.
Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi wrote House Democrats yesterday: “On Thursday, House Democrats will take action to end the Trump Shutdown, as we pass strong, bipartisan legislation to reopen the government, which has already received strong bipartisan support in the Senate.”