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First Read’s Morning Clips: Federal workers protest shutdown

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TRUMP AGENDA: Federal workers protest shutdown

Federal workers are protesting the shutdown in Washington and around the country.

The shutdown has frozen HUD funds for low-income senior citizens, NBC’s Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler report.

Today’s the day that federal workers start to miss paychecks.

Trump could take billions from disaster areas to fund the wall under a new proposal.

Trump’s border trip was mostly political, NBC’s Jonathan Allen writes.

The shutdown is pushing Trump-friendly farm country to the brink.

Critics say Trump’s administration is bending the rules to keep popular services going during the shutdown even as workers work without pay.

American forces have begun a Syria withdrawal, although details of the timeline are scarce.

Both Trump and Mike Pompeo took aim at domestic foes yesterday while praising foreign autocrats, the New York Times writes.

Trump allies are getting ready for a possible Supreme Court vacancy.

Steve King is on the defensive after saying in an interview: “”White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

DEM AGENDA: Democrats frustrated by AOC

Democrats are getting frustrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s vow to primary moderates in her party.

Democrats want a delay in easing sanctions on a Putin ally.

2020: Warren heads to New Hampshire

Kirsten Gillibrand is looking at Troy, New York, for her potential campaign headquarters.

Sherrod Brown is heading to Iowa.

And Elizabeth Warren is getting ready for a weekend trip to New Hampshire.

And Jay Inslee is also hitting the road, heading to the Granite State on January 21.

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Tory leadership race tracker: How Boris Johnson and Rory Stewart fared after BBC debate

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TORY leadership candidate Rory Stewart has suffered a massive drop in support following the BBC debate on Tuesday evening – whilst Boris Johnson is looking more popular than ever.

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Hope Hicks testifies before House committee behind closed doors

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s former aide Hope Hicks arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee.

Democrats planned to focus their questions on what they say are five crimes of obstruction of justice established by the Mueller Report against Trump, as well as campaign finance violations involved with alleged election-year hush money payments.

Her appearance marks the first time a former Trump aide has come in to answer questions before that panel as part of Democrats’ obstruction of justice investigation. A transcript of the interview will be released, though it may not appear for several days.

Other issues Democrats plan to question Hicks about include Trump’s conduct and attitude towards former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump’s reaction when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, among others.

In a letter sent to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Tuesday evening, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone asserted that Hicks was not legally required to provide testimony regarding her time working in the White House.

“Ms. Hicks is absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress with respect to matters occurring during her service as a senior adviser to the President,” he wrote.

Nadler dismissed those claims. “I reject that assertion” regarding blanket executive privilege, he said in a response released late Tuesday night, adding that after the panel poses questions to her, “we will address privilege and other objections on a question by question basis.”

Hicks’s testimony comes after the Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena last month for her appearance. She previously served as White House communications director and the White House director of strategic communications after a stint as a senior aide on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The White House directed Hicks and another former White House aide earlier this month not to hand over any documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House.

Mike Memoli contributed.



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Commons erupts in fury as SNP's Ian Blackford brands Boris Johnson 'racist'

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford sparked fury in the House of Commons after he branded former foreign secretary Boris Johnson “racist”.

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