Appearing before a House subcommittee hearing, Attorney General William Barr explains to lawmakers how redactions will be identified and says his timetable for a mid-April release still stands.
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On the roster: Barr says Muller-approved final report within a week – Trump, unbound, readies immigration blitz – Bernie dissents from many Dems on filibuster – Audible: it me – Wait. What did you say the fire chief’s name was?
BARR SAYS MULLER-APPROVED FINAL REPORT WITHIN A WEEK
Fox News: “Attorney General Bill Barr vowed Tuesday to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report ‘within a week,’ as he pushed back at Democrats blasting him… ‘Right now the special counsel is working with us. This process is going along very well and my original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands,’ Barr testified. ‘From my standpoint, within a week, I will be in a position to release the report to the public and then I will engage with both chairmen of Judiciary Committees on any requests that they have.’ Barr said that he identified four areas of the report that he believed should be redacted, including grand jury material, information the intelligence community believes would reveal intelligence sources and methods, any material that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions, and information that could implicate the privacy or reputational interests of ‘peripheral players.’”
Trump back on the attack against Mueller – AP: “President Donald Trump took a victory lap after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his Russia investigation. It may have been premature. … Now that the American public will get a look at details beyond the four-page investigation summary … some Trump allies are concerned that the president was too quick to declare complete triumph and they’re pushing the White House to launch a pre-emptive attack. Trump seems to be of the same mind. … With the goal to discredit what’s coming, Trump and his allies have unleashed a series of broadsides against Mueller’s team and the Democrats pushing for full release of the final report. No longer is the president agreeing that Mueller acted honorably, as he did the day after the special counsel’s conclusions were released. Instead, he’s joining his allies in trying to undermine the integrity of the investigators and the credibility of their probe.”
TRUMP, UNBOUND, READIES IMMIGRATION BLITZ
NYT: “President Trump’s purge of the nation’s top homeland security officials is a sign that he is preparing to unleash an even fiercer assault on immigration, including a possible return of his controversial decision last summer to separate migrant children from their parents, current and former administration officials said Monday. Mr. Trump shook up the ranks of his top immigration officials after spending months … seething about what he considers their overly legalistic refusals to do what he has said was necessary. That anger was underscored on Monday when a judge blocked Mr. Trump’s efforts to force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases proceed — a practice that immigration advocates called inhumane and illegal. Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that existing law did not give Mr. Trump the power to enforce the policy, known as ‘migrant protection protocols.’”
Grassley warns White House – WaPo: “The most senior Senate Republican is warning the White House not to oust another top immigration official, making appeals to the administration against dismissing Lee Francis Cissna, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, amid a purge of Homeland Security leaders. In an interview with The Washington Post, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said he was ‘very, very concerned’ regarding reports that Cissna could be next in a series of rapid-fire DHS dismissals that began late last week when the White House suddenly pulled the nomination of Ronald Vitiello, who had been tapped as director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ‘One, those are good public servants,’ Grassley said Monday evening, after rumors of Cissna’s potential exit percolated all day.”
Roberts cautions: Kobach can’t be confirmed for immigration post – Kansas City Star: “One of the GOP senators from Kris Kobach’s home state said Tuesday that the Senate would not be able to confirm the Kansas Republican if President Donald Trump tapped him for a cabinet post. Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, has been mentioned as a potential candidate for an array of immigration-related positions after President Donald Trump pulled his nominee for the director of Immigration Customs Enforcement and announced the departure of his secretary of Homeland Security. But Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, doesn’t believe the Republican-controlled Senate could confirm his fellow Kansan, who has gained national notoriety for championing stronger restrictions on immigration. ‘Don’t go there. We can’t confirm him,’ Roberts whispered to The Kansas City Star when asked about Kobach Tuesday on his way into a Senate vote.”
THE RULEBOOK: READY FOR ACTION
“The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 8
TIME OUT: ‘LIFE IS A CABARET, OLD CHUM’
Atlantic: “Forty years ago, the director-choreographer Bob Fosse made All That Jazz, his semiautobiographical meta-statement on the meaning of life, death, dance, love, and the ecstatic, addictive emptiness of show business. … It won four Academy Awards and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. So any filmmaker daring enough to dramatize Fosse’s actual life story for the screen could fairly be said to face a daunting challenge… For a platinum-pedigreed team of Broadway veterans—led by the writer Steven Levenson (librettist of Dear Evan Hansen) and the director Thomas Kail (of Hamilton)—the answer is a sprawling, eight-episode limited series, Fosse/Verdon, which debuts on FX this month. It tells the tortured tale not just of Fosse, but also of his 30-year artistic and emotional collaboration with his dance partner, third wife, and too-often-unsung muse, Gwen Verdon. … Levenson said, after digging into Fosse, [Sam] Wasson’s authoritative 2013 biography … ‘Bob Fosse presented his story the way he wanted it presented, and he had a very clear editorial angle…’”
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Trump job performance
Average approval: 41.6 percent
Average disapproval: 53 percent
Net Score: -11.4 points
Change from one week ago: down 1.2 points
[Average includes: IBD: 41% approve – 52% disapprove; NPR/PBS/Marist: 44% approve – 50% disapprove; NBC/WSJ: 43% approve – 53% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 39% approve – 55% disapprove; Pew Research Center: 41% approve – 55% disapprove.]
BERNIE DISSENTS FROM MANY DEMS ON FILIBUSTER
HuffPo: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, said on Saturday that while he believes the filibuster process needs some reform, he doesn’t want to get rid of it. And people who do should be wary. ‘Donald Trump supports the ending of the filibuster. So you should be a little bit nervous if Donald Trump supports it,’ he told HuffPost in a sit-down interview before a town hall. Getting rid of the filibuster ― which requires most significant legislation to get 60 votes, rather than just a majority, for passage ― has been bubbling up as a big issue on the 2020 campaign trail. Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) issued the most high-profile call to get rid of it. Pointing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) blockade and slow-walk of many of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees…”
California man says he too is running for president – LAT: “Eric Swalwell, a four-term Bay Area congressman who’s grown into a cable TV fixture as a slashing and unremitting critic of President Trump, formally announced Monday his long-shot bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Fittingly, he chose national television as the venue to declare his intent, saying on CBS’ ‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ he would ‘go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer and do good in the way we govern.’ Swalwell, 38, has essentially been running for president for the better part of the last two years. Still, he will have to work to distinguish himself in a crowded field approaching 20 contestants. He is neither the youngest candidate nor the only millennial in the Democratic race … and he shares his Northern California political base with Sen. Kamala Harris, a former district attorney across the bay in San Francisco.”
Klobuchar misses the top tier on fundraising – Politico: “Sen. Amy Klobuchar raised more than $5.2 million for her presidential bid since launching her campaign in mid-February, trailing behind top contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2020. Amy for America, Klobuchar’s campaign committee, announced Monday that it finished the first quarter of the year with $7 million in the bank after adding in an additional $3 million that Klobuchar raised for her Senate campaign last year. … Unlike some Democratic candidates, Klobuchar’s campaign has solicited money for the general election at some fundraisers, which means she can’t spend all of the money she raised during the primary. Klobuchar’s campaign did not outline how much general election money she raised during the first quarter.”
How Twitter gets it twisted – NYT: “Perhaps the most telling poll of the Democratic primary season hasn’t been about the Democratic primary at all — but about the fallout from a 35-year-old racist photo on a yearbook page. … Yet the majority of ordinary Democrats in Virginia said Mr. [Ralph] Northam should remain in office, according to a Washington Post/Schar School poll a week later. … Today’s Democratic Party is increasingly perceived as dominated by its ‘woke’ left wing. But the views of Democrats on social media often bear little resemblance to those of the wider Democratic electorate. The outspoken group of Democratic-leaning voters on social media is outnumbered, roughly 2 to 1, by the more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats who typically don’t post political content online, according to data from the Hidden Tribes Project. This latter group has the numbers to decide the Democratic presidential nomination in favor of a relatively moderate establishment favorite, as it has often done in the past.”
Tim Miller: ‘Joe Biden Deserves Better Than This’ – The Bulwark: “In a convergence of the tribalistic crazy that has infected our politics, the former vice president has managed to find himself a target … But here’s the thing about these critics, left and right: Vanishingly few of them seem to sincerely believe that Biden’s enthusiastic shoulder rubbing would inhibit him from being a successful president. Their real complaints with him are along much different vectors: That he is a ‘neoliberal capitalist’ (the Bernie bros); or that there are women or people of color who are better options (intersectional progressives); or that he’s a liberal who needs to be owned (Trump supporters). In a way, this isn’t surprising. … We’re long past the point where people try to convince others of the rightness of their arguments. These days, people don’t even really believe their own arguments. They’re just trying to score points, or get retweets, or whatever.”
Booker bags an endorsement – Politico: “Cory Booker isn’t soaring in the national polls or in the 2020 fundraising race. Still, the New Jersey senator is quietly making early presidential state inroads. On Monday, Booker captured his first legislative endorsement in New Hampshire when state Sen. Jon Morgan gave him his official backing. Morgan has met numerous 2020 candidates and attended recent campaign events for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney. But he said Booker’s message, which centers on uniting a deeply divided nation, is what most resonated with him. … Booker has made an early investment in New Hampshire, marked by multiple trips to stump and fundraise for local candidates — including Morgan — in the 2018 midterm elections. Booker raised more money for New Hampshire Democrats than any other national Democrat…”
Voter intensity equally matched, already at near-election levels – Georgetown University
Pergram: Senate pays tribute to former Sen. Fritz Hollings – Fox News
Book claims Joe Crowley had dirt on Ocasio-Cortez, but chose to not use it in campaign – NY Post
Trump, Jerry Nadler feud goes back decades to a New York real estate project – WaPo
Report: Mass shootings had little effect on voting in the affected communities – WaPo
Netanyahu seeks fifth term in Israel’s election Tuesday – The Guardian
Policy, not investigations dominate at House Dem retreat – WaPo
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s finances under scrutiny – Forbes
AUDIBLE: IT ME
“Are you here to see Beto?” – University of Iowa student, Matthew Rowland, unknowingly asked Beto O’Rourke while making small talk while washing their hands in the men’s room ahead of O’Rourke’s speech on Sunday at the university.
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WAIT. WHAT DID YOU SAY THE FIRE CHIEF’S NAME WAS?
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “A raging fire in a commercial marijuana grow-op forced the evacuation of part of downtown Squamish for a period of time Monday morning. No one was hurt, and the fire was contained to the single warehouse in the 37000-block of Third Street. ‘When we arrived on scene, the building was fully engulfed,’ said Squamish Fire Chief Bill Stoner. ‘We had heavy smoke coming out all sides of the building so we went on the defensive and it was probably two hours until we had it under control.’ According to Stoner, smoke from the blaze did not smell like burning weed. ‘There were a lot of other things burning in that building as well,’ he said. Huge plumes of dark smoke were seen billowing into the sky over Squamish at the height of the fire, and residents to the south of the building were asked to evacuate briefly because of air quality concerns.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“[Mitch McConnell is] the ultimate Senate tactician. He knows the rules. He knows how to get around things.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) speaking on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on Feb. 16, 2016.
Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
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