Shutdown continues as both sides dig in their heels » Still no headway in talks over the partial government shutdown. Democrats say they won’t negotiate funding for a border wall and President Trump insists he won’t sign a government funding bill without it. Both sides say they’re prepared for a long shutdown.
The president said Sunday that if it’s the idea of concrete wall that bothers Democrats, he’s willing to make it a steel barrier of some kind.
TRUMP: I intend to call the head of United States Steel and a couple of other of our great steel companies to have them come up with a plate or a design.
And he said if Democrats still refuse to negotiate, his administration is looking the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build a border wall without funding from Congress.
Meantime, since Democrats took control of the House on Thursday they’ve passed a series of bills to reopen non-Homeland Security departments while talks continue.
And at an event in San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said reopening the government is entirely up to the White House.
PELOSI: They don’t mind the government being shut down because they don’t believe in governance.
The legislation closely resembles a bipartisan funding bill passed in the Senate last month. That bill also did not include funding for a wall, so the GOP-led House would not consider it before handing control to Democrats.
U.S., North Korea currently planning second summit » Yesterday President Trump told reporters on the White House lawn that his administration is currently working with North Korea to nail down a date and location for a second summit between the president and Kim Jong Un. He said he expects an announcement fairly soon.
Against the roar of Marine One, the president again said the country will get no sanctions relief until it abandons nuclear weapons.
TRUMP: The sanctions remain in full force and effect, and they will until we have some positive proof.
The two leaders previously met in Singapore last June.
Bolton taps brakes on U.S. troop pullout from Syria » National Security Adviser John Bolton says the White House remains committed to bringing U.S. troops home from Syria, but with clear goals…
BOLTON: To do so from northeast Syria in a way that makes sure that ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again.
Bolton said U.S. troops won’t leave until ISIS militants are decimated and American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected.
His remarks signal a pause to a withdrawal President Trump abruptly announced last month. It was expected to be completed within weeks.
Bolton commented while in Israel for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who thanked the U.S. for consistently standing up for Israel at the United Nations.
NETANYAHU: And you have backed both in word and deed Israel’s right to defend itself, and that is something that, again, is deeply appreciated by all Israelis and all friends of Israel around the world.
During the meeting the prime minister called on the U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty of the disputed Golan Heights. Netanyahu announced that he and Bolton would visit the region today, weather permitting.
US confirms death of terrorist involved in USS Cole bombing » The Pentagon confirmed on Sunday that an American airstrike killed an al-Qaida operative accused of being involved in the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. The attack in October of 2000 killed 17 sailors.
A Pentagon spokesman said the strike killed Jamal al-Badawi on January 1st east of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.
President Trump celebrated the news on Twitter saying “Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole.”
Sen. Warren on pre-campaign trail » Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is getting a running start on the 2020 election. The Democrat is not yet officially a candidate, but each stop on her weekend Iowa tour felt like a campaign rally.
Warren said she was battling a cold and was hoarse by the end.
WARREN: We’ve got a problem where the big corporations, the billionaires, they’re calling the shots. We need to strengthen the unions, our workers, our [sic], get some balance back in the system! [Cheering]
Last week Warren announced she’s forming a presidential exploratory committee.
NFL Wild Card action wraps up » In the NFL, Wild Card weekend saw four teams advance to the league’s elite eight.
On Sunday the LA Chargers built a 23-3 lead and held off a Baltimore Ravens rally to win 23 to 17. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers told reporters:
RIVERS: We did enough. And I think that’s the name of postseason football is find a way to score more points than the other team, and we got that done.
Also on Sunday the defending Super Bowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, slipped passed the Chicago Bears. The Bears had a chance to win it with 10 seconds left, but kicker Cody Parkey hit the upright for the sixth time this season.
On Saturday the Indianapolis Colts beat the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys edged out the Seattle Seahawks.
Tonight college football grabs the spotlight. The Clemson Tigers battle the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national title game. Kickoff is set for just after 8 p.m. Eastern tonight in Santa Clara, California.