10 Things in Politics: Trump isn't going away anytime soon

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Donald Trump

Good morning and welcome! Thank you for joining us for our inaugural edition of 10 Things in Politics. I'm Brent Griffiths, and every weekday morning I'll be bringing you the best politics stories from our Insider newsroom. Was this forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Let's break the ice! Send me your tips, thoughts and best snow day moments (past and present) to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me @BrentGriffiths. We'll bring you some of the best ones tomorrow!

Here's what you need to know:

1. HE'LL BE BACK: The tweets may be gone, but former President Donald Trump is still a main character. Fresh campaign finance filings illustrate how lucrative pushing the false claims of election fraud has been for the former president's future. 

My colleagues write this morning about seven reasons the 45th president remains in the fold. 

Money, Money Money. $31.2 million, that's how much Trump's newly created political operation Save America ended 2020 with after starting from scratch two months before. Trump inundated his supporters with pleas to support his plan to contest the results for months, but Save America didn't spend a dime on such activities from at least late November to the end of the year. 

  • So, what happens now? Save America is what's known as a leadership PAC. This means he cannot use the money to directly finance a 2024 bid, if he runs, but he can use it to fund travel throughout the country, pay staff and maintain his influence in the party.
  • It's already happening: Save America released a poll last week showing Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is vulnerable to a primary challenge after voting to impeach Trump.

It's his party and he'll do what he wants to: Trump has flirted with starting a new party, but now appears content to stay in the GOP. Polls conducted after the Capitol riot show he remains extremely popular with the base of the party. Some state parties have already begun punishing fellow Republicans viewed as being disloyal. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent Trump critic, told my colleagues that some members of his family are trying to disown him. To cap it off, Senate Republicans appear unlikely to convict Trump, which would hand him a second acquittal in just over a year.  

  • Key quote: "I'm sure until such time as we have another nominee for the presidency, President Trump by a whole lot of people is going to have lots of influence on the Republican Party, and a lot of independence as well," Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota told my colleagues.
  • Context: Rounds once mused that Trump could face criminal charges for inciting the mob. Last week, he supported the view that an impeachment trial is unconstitutional since Trump is no longer in office.

Subscribers can read the rest of the story here. Every morning, we'll bring you plenty of peeks at exclusive reports, but be sure to subscribe so you don't miss anything. Subscribe today!

2. There's a coup unfolding in Myanmar: Civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top officials have been taken into custody by the military, which has declared a state of emergency for at least a year. The White House and UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir have called for their release.

3. Planned Parenthood's president calls on Biden to go "bold" on abortion rights: Alexis McGill Johnson said her organization is talking to the administration after Republicans spent years trying to defund it. She said that making medication abortion available during the pandemic should be a top priority for the White House. Subscribers can check out my colleague Kimberly Leonard's exclusive report.

  1. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern.


  • 11 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials hold a COVID-19 news briefing.
  • 12:30 p.m.: White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily news briefing
  • 5 p.m.: Biden and Vice President Harris meet with GOP senators to discuss stimulus plans.


  • The Senate holds a confirmation vote on Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's pick to lead the Homeland security department. (*This was supposed to happen Monday, but was postponed.)

Today's trivia question: Monday marks the beginning of Black History Month. Historian Carter Godwin Woodson helped begin what later became the month-long observance. Woodson chose February due to the birthdays of two key historical figures. Can you name one? Email your response to me at bgriffiths@insider.com

  • Respond with the correct answer and you might get to pick tomorrow's question. 

Susan Collins-Rob Portman

5. 10 GOP senators proposed a stimulus compromise: Led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the group will soon unveil a $600 billion package, which pares down a number of the White House's proposals. Among the possible cuts would be a new round of checks, which under the group's plan would be $1,000 (Biden wants $1,400) and would be targeted to individuals making less than $50,000 a year and married couples making $100,000. 

  • Biden is showing some interest: He and Vice President Harris will meet with the group later tonight. At the same time, some Democratic lawmakers are gearing up for a move that would allow a package to avoid the usual 60-vote threshold in the Senate, meaning it could pass on a straight party-line vote.

6. Trump has hired a new impeachment legal team: David Schoen and Bruce Castor Jr. will lead Trump's defense after he reportedly ousted his previous team for refusing to focus on his debunked claims of election fraud that fueled the Capitol riot. (The New York Times)

  • Their resumes: Schoen was part of Trump ally Roger Stone's legal team and met with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in the days before the disgraced mogul died by suicide. Castor has been criticized for his time as Pennsylvania district attorney when he declined to prosecute Bill Cosby for sexual assault. 

7. 21 men allege a key figure at an anti-Trump group harassed them online: The Times reported that John Weaver, a veteran GOP operative who helped run John McCain and John Kasich's presidential campaigns, sent unsolicited and sexually provocative messages to young men. Weaver was a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump GOP operatives, that went viral with their attacks on the president and his allies. The Lincoln Project condemned Weaver in a statement.

  • The Times reported that he sent messages to a 14-year-old boy "asking questions about his body while he was still in high school and then more pointed ones after he turned 18."

8. Big corporations helped bankroll Biden's inauguration: The president's star-studded inauguration refused to accept money from individual, registered lobbyists, but it accepted most corporate and executive donations up to $1 million. Check out my colleague Dave Levinthal's exclusive report.

9. A major winter storm is set to strike the East Coast: A foot of snow or more could fall from Philadelphia to Boston. New York could get hammered with as much as 18 inches. (The Washington Post)

One last thing.

10. The nation's capital has a snow day: Here's one of our favorite shots. (Bonus: Pandas sliding around at the National Zoo.)

snowman washingtondc jan31


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