GOOD MORNING DC: Members Of The Intelligence Committee Remain Fearful Of Second Attack

This morning on #GoodMorningDC: Members of the Senate intelligence committee on guard ahead of Inauguration.

Good Morning DC. 

It's Monday, and we are two days away from Biden's Inauguration, which will be taking place under barricades, with a sizable army and police presence. Will violent extremists show up? Is an insider attack at the Inauguration possible?

Members of the intelligence committee are on guard ahead of Inauguration. “Senators, in particular, are off the charts on needles,” a source told Good Morning DC. A senior member of the Senate intelligence committee shared that he is nervous about the inauguration. “They do not know what to expect,” the source added. The senators concerned are not alarmists and are basing their assessment based on the intel that has been received.  

The Pentagon authorized 25,000 troops to guard the nation's capital. The FBI is taking all threats seriously, and their main concern is the potential for violence to erupt in smaller cities across the country, where the security presence won't be as strong as in Washington DC. Trump has put in motion something that is taking on a life of its own, and this extremist movement will remain a concern beyond Trump’s Presidential mandate. A source involved in the investigation told Good Morning DC that there are indicators suggesting people on the inside of the US Capitol helped the perpetrators breach the building. 

Over the weekend, I took a stroll through our nation's capital and, for the first time, saw the army on the streets two blocks from where I live. DC is on full military lockdown. As I walked through the security perimeter, the feeling was unpleasant. Anyone around might be a perpetrator. What makes things more difficult is the pandemic, because people wearing masks are almost unrecognizable. 

The press is on high alert. The White House Correspondents Associations issued a letter advising us against going to the White House on Inauguration day and providing us with safety guidelines. These are wartime worries no one imagined to have in America, let alone in a heavily-militarized DC for Inauguration Day. 

Are we getting any closer to a less acrimonious political landscape? The closest I have been to this was the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 when, due to the fear of a terrorist attack, the army was guarding the festival with arms. Yet, there was the glamour of the French Riviera and champagne to match the silver screen distraction. Biden's Inauguration does not feel like a celebration. Instead, it feels like a wartime Inauguration, with fear cutting the thin DC air. 

While Biden’s inaugural team is doing everything to make the ceremony attractive, including the celebrity line-up, the guestlist for attending the Inauguration in-person will be extremely limited. There will be immediate family present, as well as some members of the Senate and Congress. 

The outgoing President Trump is scheduled to leave the White House for Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday morning. Melania and Trump won't meet-and-greet with Joe and Jill Biden at the White House; Pleasantries won't be exchanged this time. Mike Pence had his last public appearance as a Vice President yesterday afternoon at the Fort Drum Army Base, where he addressed the soldiers of the  10th Mountain Division. Karen Pence was evidently emotional while she introduced her husband at the podium. 

Good Morning DC has learned that Trump is already fundraising for the 2024 election. However, he has impeachment looming over his head, and the investigation is taking place in New York. Michael Cohen spent the weekend in conversation with the investigators about Trump's dealings with Deutsche bank. 

"There has been so much evidence collected, and there will be so much more. Donald Trump is going to jail for a very long time," Anthony Scaramucci said. 

How did America come to the brink of a civil war? “Trump is the least patriotic person I know. There is never a sense of country first. It’s always Trump first,” a source who knows Trump well-told Good Morning DC.

Peter Hitchen, brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, published a column in the Times on Sunday: Why our liberal elite cheered for this violent mob?” He made the point once that journalism should always offer the reader something to disagree with. 

American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story is now being shown on Amazon Prime. If Hefner stood for anything it was the freedom for everyone to express themselves and live their lives the way they see fit. If he’s battled against PC culture since the 50s and on, how did we end up in Groundhog Day 2021?

CNN is calling for the shutdown of both Newsmax and OAN. Fox is fighting for their survival. The new idea is to have Verizon, ATT, and Comcast, which carry these programs, to consider shutting down the conservative media companies. 

Free speech is becoming popular and pre-approved speech. We do not have an intellectual debate, which means we do not exchange ideas in a public forum, at least not in an effective manner. The fairness doctrine does not exist, and no media is obliged to feature a different point of view. It then, somehow, comes as a surprise that America is halved, disconnected, and 70 million people do not have any representation within the mainstream media. A “solution” which shuts them down and pushes their ideas into obscurity won’t make them go away. They will simply move underground, where their dissatisfaction will grow until boiling to the surface just in time for the next election. 

Twitter suspended Marjorie Taylor Green yesterday. “Temporarily,” Twitter confirmed, ramping up their actions against Republican QAnon believers. 

Joe Biden faces the challenge of returning America to “normal.” He may want to bring to the table some of his ability to reach across the aisle, the ability we heard so much about during the election process. To engage in anything of the sort takes innate curiosity, self-reflection, and tolerance. Now may be as good a time as ever to read or reread Joe Biden’s memoir Promise me, Dad .

As he becomes the 46th president of the United States at noon on Wednesday, Joe Biden will swiftly move to dismantle Trump’s travel ban.

President Joe Biden plans to kill the Keystone XL pipeline the day he takes office via Executive Order, according to transition documents reviewed by CTV News.

“It’s not surprising Biden is scrapping Keystone XL pipeline, but the briefing book implies it would be on Day 1 of his presidency is - “a punch in the face to Canada,” a Canadian government official told Washington DC-based correspondent Richard Madan.

A new variant of COVID19 that was first detected in the UK is alarming scientists, given that the mutation can elude the existing vaccines available. From 4:00 am this Monday morning, all UK travel corridors have been suspended. Anyone coming into the UK will have to be tested and then isolate. 

Lovers of Netflix's drama The Crown should know that a love affair has spilled over into real life. The writer Peter Morgan left X-file’s leading lady, Jillian Anderson, and he is now in a relationship with Jemima Khan.

Italy entered into political uncertainty, as Prime Minister Conte lost a coalition partner. Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva party forms a majority and now needs to find a replacement. Next door, the battle of who’s going to become Germany's next chancellor is ongoing. Armin Laschet is likely to replace Angela Merkel. Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny, is back on Russian soil, arrested by border control. His message to journalists was how happy he was to be back home. 

“Mr. Navalny should be immediately released, and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable. The Kremlin’s attacks on Mr. Navalny are not just a violation of human rights, but an affront to the Russian people who want their voices heard,” Jake Sullivan, Biden’s new National Security Adviser, said on Twitter. 

That's a wrap for this Monday, January 18. "You made this bed, America. You voted for me. Are you confused? Are you afraid? Because what you thought you wanted is now here. And there you are, staring back, slackjawed, bewildered, wondering if this is what you actually asked for..." mused Frank Underwood. Can’t you hardly wait to see what the next 24 hours bring? Sit tight. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to give you the very best political news and insider info from the front row. 

 

                                                                                                        ***

Good Morning DC takes you to the heart of the stories that matter. Get the most important stories of the day through the eyes of the editor-in-chief, Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer. Delivered to your inbox every morning.  

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