Chris Cioffi

Trump reverses Treasury sanctions on North Korea
President says he would go against his own department to rescind sanctions

President Donald Trump announced Friday he would go against the order of his own Treasury Department and remove additional sanctions imposed on North Korea. 

Trump, via Twitter, said he would not add to existing sanctions on the country, aimed at slowing its nuclear ambitions. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced Thursday it would impose sanctions on two Chinese-based shipping companies that helped North Korea evade sanctions.

O’Rourke gets early backing from former colleagues in Congress
Texas Democrat hits the campaign trail at Keokuk, Iowa, coffee shop

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke gave a speech and took questions from supporters for the first time as a presidential candidate on Thursday in Keokuk, Iowa.

The 46-year-old Democrat spoke to supporters at a coffee shop just hours after he announced that he is seeking the party’s presidential nomination. His White House bid brings the number of Democrats running for the party’s nomination to a baker’s dozen.

Democrats choose Milwaukee for 2020 national convention
Wisconsin is a perennial battleground state, which Hillary Clinton narrowly lost in 2016

Following the selection of Milwaukee, Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said the state party was “thrilled” for the “once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunity.” 

Trump claims Cohen ‘directly’ asked for a pardon
Trump’s claim will inevitably cause GOP lawmakers to press Democrats to look at whether Cohen again committed perjury

President Donald Trump on Friday contradicted his former fixer Michael Cohen by claiming his one-time attorney “directly” asked for a pardon.

Cohen, who is heading to prison for lying to Congress, told the House Oversight Committee this last week: “I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.”

Founder of spa where Patriot’s owner was charged attended Trump’s Super Bowl party
The woman, Li Yang, is a Chinese entrepreneur who started a chain of South Florida day spas, the Miami Herald reports

President Donald Trump posed for a selfie during a Super Bowl party at his West Palm Beach country club with the woman who founded Orchids of Asia Day Spa — the massage parlor now at the center of a sex trafficking and prostitution investigation, a new Miami Herald report said Friday

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a longtime friend of Trump, was charged with soliciting a prostitute at the strip mall massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown says he isn’t running for president
Ohio Democrat says he will continue ‘calling out Donald Trump and his phony populism’

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown won’t be joining several of his Democratic Senate colleagues who are seeking the White House in 2020. 

“The best place for me to continue fighting for the people of Ohio and for the dignity of all workers across the country is in the U.S. Senate,” Brown said in a statement Thursday. “So, I will not run for President in 2020.”

Matt Gaetz under investigation by Florida Bar over Cohen tweet
Florida Republican says he has apologized to Cohen personally

The Florida Bar has opened an investigation into a tweet sent by Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday that appeared to be an attempt to intimidate President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen the day before he was to testify against his old boss.

The Florida Bar confirmed to Roll Call on Wednesday afternoon that it has begun investigating Gaetz’s tweet. It would not release any additional information, citing confidentiality rules.

Trump’s labor secretary broke federal law in sex offender plea deal, judge says
Alexander Acosta — then a U.S. attorney — violated federal law in Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case

A plea agreement with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta had a part in when he was a U.S.attorney  violated federal law, a judge ruled Thursday. 

Officials with Acosta’s office and the White House had not responded to requests for comment at the time this story was published. 

Sanders first to get non-home state congressional endorsement
Ro Khanna has expressed support for a Sanders presidential run since 2017

Bernie Sanders is the first 2020 candidate to pick up an endorsement from a member of Congress who is not from their home state.

Ro Khanna, D-Calif., announced Thursday that he is backing the Vermont independent to be the next president. The endorsement is not a surprising one — Khana tweeted in July of 2017 that Sanders should “absolutely run again in 2020!”

Trump says Mueller report release timing ‘totally’ up to Barr
The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday Mueller’s report could be finalized next week

During a Wednesday meeting with his Austrian counterpart, President Donald J. Trump said the release of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report would be “totally” up to Attorney General William Barr.

The president was asked after CNN reported Wednesday that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report could be finalized next week.  Trump said releasing it — perhaps while he is in Vietnam — would be “totally” up to Attorney General William Barr.

Trump makes Space Force official. There’s already a Netflix parody
The president also gets request from governor of ‘Space Coast’ to place Space Force HQ in his state

President Donald Trump made Space Force official, but that might have been hard to tell at first from Tuesday in the Oval Office, as the chief executive held court on several satellite issues. 

“During my administration, we’re doing so much in space. We need it,” Trump said, surrounded by military brass as he signed a directive establishing Space Force within the Air Force.

‘Never again,’ hundreds protest against second shutdown in Hart
American Federation of Government Employees held a silent protest Wednesday in the Hart Senate Office Building

A group of protesters that included labor leaders and worker advocates held a silent protest Wednesday to urge legislators against a second partial government shutdown. 

The protest, which attracted hundreds, was held in the Hart Senate Office Building. It was organized by the American Federation of Government Employees as part of its 2019 Legislative & Grassroots Mobilization Conference.

Dingell memorial services to be held in Michigan, Washington
A motorcade carrying his casket will pass the Capitol Tuesday, and a funeral will be held Thursday

Updated Sunday 6 p.m. |  John D. Dingell will drive past the U.S. Capitol one last time Tuesday as part of memorial services remembering the longest-serving member of Congress. 

Dingell died Thursday at age 92 in his home state of Michigan. Services will be held in Dearborn, Michigan, Monday and Tuesday before he returns to Washington.

Debbie Dingell says ailing former Rep. John Dingell has entered ‘new phase’
Dingell announced Wednesday that she is home with her husband who has been in failing health

Rep. Debbie Dingell announced Wednesday that she is home with her husband, former Michigan Rep. John D. Dingell, who has been in failing health.

Dingell announced on Twitter that she was “home with John and we have entered a new phase. He is my love and we have been a team for nearly 40 years.” Dingell, 92, suffered a heart attack in September.  

Gwen Moore announces she has cancer during hearing on pre-existing conditions
The announcement comes on day when House Democrats returned to discussions about pre-existing health conditions

On a day when House Democrats returned to discussions about pre-existing health conditions, Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., announced Tuesday she was diagnosed with small cell lymphocytic lymphoma in the spring of 2018. She said the disease is now in remission. 

4 things to watch as government reopens and border security talks begin
The wall — whether it’s funded or not — looms large

After 35 days, Donald Trump announced Friday in the White House Rose Garden that he would agree to end a partial government shutdown. The Senate and House vowed Friday to pass continuing resolutions to restore funding to the closed agencies.

Trump’s demand for a $5.7 billion border wall has been put on hold, while the House and Senate to go to conference on a Homeland Security funding bill

Schumer’s press secretary: ‘I did not work for the Fyre Festival’
Congressional aide Angelo Roefaro was caught on camera with Billy McFarland, but insists they were ‘friends’

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s press secretary says he was friends with convicted Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland, but denies he had any involvement with planning the doomed music event.

Angelo Roefaro appears near the end of a new Netflix documentary, “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” with McFarland, who pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and other charges, causing more than $26 million in losses.

N.C. House speaker invites Trump to give State of the Union in Tar Heel state
Tim Moore sent a letter Friday offering his statehouse as a venue for the annual address

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore invited President Donald Trump to give his second State of the Union address at his state’s General Assembly chambers.

The Republican sent a letter to the president Friday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Wednesday that Trump postpone the address until after the shutdown is over. Moore is one of several lawmakers from across the U.S. who have offered up their places for the address.  

Two weeks after being sworn in, Tom Marino announces resignation from Congress
Pennsylvania Republican will depart Jan. 23 for private sector

Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announced Thursday he would be resigning from Congress. 

The Republican lawmaker, who represents the 12th District in northeast and central Pennsylvania, said he will be leaving his post Jan. 23 for a job in the private sector.

Support for ‘wall’ at all-time high among Republicans, low for Democrats, study finds
Pew study brings insight to the current Washington logjam

A new Pew Research Center poll finds Republican support for a southern border wall has reached an all-time high, while support among Democrats supporting the wall has never been lower.

The polling provides insight on deepening divisions between President Donald Trump’s $5.7 billion request for a border barrier and Democratic leaders’ opposition to any wall funding. It comes at a time when there’s no apparent end in sight for a partial government shutdown that’s now in its third week.