GOOD MORNING DC: A Clean-Up Job Amidst Trench Warfare

#GoodMorningDC: Here's the news you're waking up to this Friday morning.


 

Good Morning DC with Chief White House Correspondent  Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer

Good Morning DC. Public trust in the media has reached a new low of 27%, the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals. With that in mind, let's stick to the facts, shall we?

Riley June Williams, the young woman in possession of Pelosi’s laptop, will be released into the custody of her mother, the US Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson ordered yesterday. 

Williams will have to obey travel restrictions and appear on Monday in federal court in Washington, DC. “The gravity of these offenses is great,” Judge Carlson told Williams. “It cannot be overstated.” William’s attorney is basing her defense on the argument that she “took the President’s bait.”

Donald Trump retained Butch Bowers, a South Carolina lawyer who counseled John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign, to make his defense in his second impeachment trial. Democrats are split on how soon the trial should start, with many concerned that it will be the last nail in the coffin of a society ruptured beyond repair. 

Mitch McConnell wants to delay the trial until next month to give Mr. Trump's legal team time to prepare, but Pelosi intends to move swiftly. This time, Pelosi promises Trump won't be privy to a get-out-of-jail-free card. She only needs 17 Republicans to agree. 

Marjorie Taylor Green filed articles of impeachment on President Joe Biden. "We'll see how this goes," she said. Trench warfare. 

National Guardsmen were told last night that they had to vacate the building of the US Capitol and sleep, during a pandemic, in the Capitol garage with not enough bathrooms. Since the story broke in POLITICO, Senators were making statements in surprise as to whose order that was. In the meantime, Getty images of mistreated American soldiers are circling the world. Booted to the curb. Solution? Pizzas, apologies, and an upgrade back to the US Capitol floor. 

Good Morning DC has already written about the need for a regulatory framework to be imposed on Big Tech. In the first legislative effort to that effect, Australia has a new law that requires Big Tech, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to pay royalties to news publishers. This is the first law of its kind around the world, but Google’s response is to remove search engines.

“If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” declared Mel Silva, Managing Director of Google at the Senate hearing. 

It appears that issuing threats has become the ultimate tool of business in politics, a method Donald Trump has ushered in to become a norm on the world stage.

Meanwhile, in the Senate...

On the immigration front, Sen. Rick Scott holds the stance that  “Biden’s Amnesty plan is irresponsible and does nothing to secure the border.”

In a speech on the Senate floor yesterday, Senate Democratic Whip, Dick Durbin, called on Congress to support President Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package. He also met with Ambassador William Burns, Biden’s nominee for Director of the CIA.

Senator Marco Rubio issued a statement regarding Biden’s intent to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate the American production of vaccination and testing supplies, as well as personal protective equipment PPE.

“I support President Biden invoking the DPA to address this,” Rubio said.”Moving forward we must take even more ambitious steps to encourage companies to bring back manufacturing and create good paying jobs for Americans.” 

Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto voted against the Congressional waiver permitting the confirmation of retired General Lloyd J. Austin to serve as Secretary of Defense.  “General Austin has served our country for over 40 years, and his impressive credentials make him incredibly qualified for the position of Secretary of Defense. Yet. I cannot support continuing to erode civilian control over our military, which is a foundational principle of our democracy,” Senator Masto said.  

On Wednesday, January 27, at 10:00 A.M. EST, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a full committee nomination hearing for Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s nominee for the next US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Hear me out

On only the second day, The White House’s interaction with the media has slid onto a slippery slope. President Biden snapped at Zeke Miller. Voulez-vous un Dejavu? 

Sean Spicer went after Zeke on day one. Remember that story in Time on Inauguration Day 2017 that claimed Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office? Zeke made an honest mistake that was quickly corrected, but to no avail. The Trump administration went with their false narrative. 

Zeke, seemingly with the short end of the stick, has been snapped at by Biden now, too.

When Zeke asked President Biden yesterday if his goal of 100 million vaccines in 100 days is high enough, Biden responded, "When I announced it, you all said it's not possible. Come on, give me a break, man."

At the press briefing, things didn't go as smoothly as planned, either. 

"Is the Biden administration starting from scratch with the vaccine distribution effort, or are you picking up where the Trump administration left off?" a journalist fired the question at Fauci. 

"No, I mean, we certainly are not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution," Fauci said. He went on to explain further that Biden is now "amplifying it in a big way."

On the international front, Biden went for an extension START treaty. 

What will Biden and Harris do today? 

Biden and Harris will have a working lunch in the Private Dining Room after having their presidential daily briefing this morning.

Later on, in the State Dining Room, the President and Vice President will receive a briefing on the state of the economic recovery. Afterwards, the President will deliver remarks on his administration’s response to the economic crisis and sign executive orders. 

This evening, the Vice President has a virtual meeting with the National Economic Council Director, Brian Deese, as well as with small business owners affected by the pandemic. They will discuss how the Biden-Harris Administration plans to address the ongoing economic crisis in light of recovery from COVID-19.


What will the First Lady do today? This Friday afternoon she will tour Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC. There, she will bring awareness to support services for cancer patients and caregivers. Jill Biden plans to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on access to health care, including cancer screenings and prevention efforts. 

And that's a wrap for this Friday morning, January 22, 2021. President Biden has removed Trump’s red Diet Coke button from the Oval Office. As the cleanup job continues, Good Morning DC will be back on Monday to give you the latest from the front row.

***

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