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POLITICO Playbook: BREAKDOWN: Talks to keep government open stall, with deadline just days away

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Sen. Richard Shelby

“I’m hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time’s ticking away,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

DRIVING THE DAY

THE PRESIDENT’S WEEK … Monday: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will lunch with VP MIKE PENCE before going to El Paso for a political rally. Tuesday: The president will hold a Cabinet meeting. Wednesday: TRUMP will host the president and first lady of Colombia for a meeting and working lunch. He will then speak at a conference of sheriffs.

BREAKING THIS MORNING … DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS are saying that border security negotiations have broken down.

— SENATE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN RICHARD SHELBY (R-Ala.) on “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”: “I think the talks are stalled right now. I’m hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time’s ticking away.” Shelby also said there are 50-50 odds they get a deal.

HEATHER CAYGLE and MARIANNE LEVINE: “Although lawmakers were optimistic going into the weekend about reaching a border security deal and funding the government past Feb. 15, negotiators are now discussing a stopgap Homeland Security bill, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

“Democratic conferees planned to meet Sunday morning to discuss the next steps, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

“The impasse in negotiations adds pressure on party leaders and the White House, who will have to step in if the conference members can’t quickly resolve their differences over detention beds and border barrier funding.” POLITICO

— FLASHBACK, PLAYBOOK on Thursday: “BEDS WILL BE ANOTHER STICKING POINT. Before the wall was a Republican priority, Democrats always focused on beds. Democrats have for years been vocal about their skepticism of the need for massive amounts of additional detention beds for undocumented migrants. Republicans are pushing for more, saying that there is an operational need for them.”

— THE WHITE HOUSE AND REPUBLICANS HAVE been privately signaling that they are not going to accept a stopgap, so another shutdown just became a bit more real.

TIME OF THE ESSENCE: Congress is out next week, and people are going to want to get away for Valentine’s Day — which is Thursday — and the long President’s Day weekend. REMEMBER: Every single day is extremely important from here on out.

— HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STENY HOYER took a trip this weekend to the border with a few House Democrats. Hoyer appeared on CNN from the border, and posted this video.

WHERE WE ARE … CHUCK TODD had MICK MULVANEY on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: TODD: “We cannot definitively rule out a government shutdown at the end of this week?” MULVANEY: “You absolutely cannot, and here’s why: let’s say for sake of this discussion that the Democrats prevail — and that the hardcore, left-wing Democrats prevail … and they put a bill on the president’s desk with say zero money for the wall, or $ 800 million — some absurdly low number. How does he sign that? He cannot in good faith sign that. It takes a presidential signature for the spending bill to become law.”

TODD: “But can you imagine Senate Republicans would go along with a proposal like that? Are you that skeptical of Senate Republicans?” MULVANEY: “I don’t think so, but you asked me a question: is a shutdown entirely off the table, and the answer is no.”

— SOME GOOD OLD FASHIONED skepticism of Senate Republicans from Mulvaney, who, at the end of the day, served three terms as a House Republican.

MULVANEY also said that the most likely scenario is Trump will try to find money elsewhere if Congress passes something short of $ 5.7 billion for the wall, which is a virtual certainty.

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AND ANOTHER ONE … SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MINN.) is announcing her presidential bid this morning in Minneapolis. THE VISUAL: She is announcing on the Mississippi River, which “runs straight through the middle of our country, through the heartland.”

WHAT SHE’LL SAY: “The Mississippi River … all our rivers connect us … to one another. To our shared story. For that is how this country was founded, with patriots who saw more that united them than divided them. And that is how this city—the Mill City—and our country prospered, right along this river and our nation’s railways and roads, grounded in the common belief that prosperity shared leads to better lives for all. And this is how we became the world’s beacon of democracy, one in which everyone matters.” Excerpt of her remarks

BUT: ELENA SCHNEIDER in Minneapolis: “Klobuchar’s opening pitch sidetracked by staff horror stories”: “Sen. Amy Klobuchar is pitching herself for the White House as the common-sense Midwestern answer to President Donald Trump — while former staffers portray her as a brutal boss who mistreated them.

“The run-up to Klobuchar’s expected presidential campaign launch on Sunday has been sidetracked by former aides, speaking anonymously for fear of retribution, who described a toxic office environment including demeaning emails, thrown office supplies and requests for staff to perform personal chores for the senator. It’s a sharp departure from the public brand that Klobuchar has built to get to this moment: a pragmatic, aw-shucks Minnesotan who gets things done and wins her state by landslide margins.

“Klobuchar defenders, including some former staffers, have gone on the record to push back against the reports, suggesting that the critique is grounded in sexism against a woman who demands excellence from her employees. Klobuchar’s campaign released statements saying she ‘loves her staff,’ citing aides who have ‘been with her for years.’” POLITICO

KLOBUCHAR AND SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MASS.) launched this weekend with significant criticism humming in the background. It’s a stark contrast to Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), whose announcements basically went off without any snags.

— CNN’S JAKE TAPPER asked REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WYO.), the third-ranking House Republican, about TRUMP’S comments about Native Americans vis a vis Warren, and Cheney answered by blasting Warren, and declining to talk about the president’s remarks. The 2-minute video

— MARC CAPUTO in Miami: “Bloomberg scorches Trump’s ‘un-American’ immigration policies”: “Michael Bloomberg assailed President Donald Trump as ‘xenophobic’ and called his family separation policy ‘un-American’ during a Friday night Miami speech that sounded like a warmup for a 2020 presidential bid.

“‘The American story and the American dream are under attack by our own American president,’ the former New York City mayor said at an Americans for Immigrant Justice fundraiser. ‘Hard as it is to believe, the most xenophobic president of our lifetime is from the immigrant capital of the United States — New York City.’ The Friday speech marked another inflection point in Bloomberg’s slow-motion rollout of what resembles a nascent campaign for president.” POLITICO

Happy Sunday. The Grammys will air at 8 p.m. tonight on CBS. SPOTTED: Vice President Mike Pence at the Georgetown-Butler basketball game at the Capitol One Arena (Butler won, 73-69) — pic … Nikki Haley on Friday at Union Station … Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) on Saturday having lunch at Chappy’s Deli in Montgomery, Ala.

SNL LAST NIGHT – “Meet The Press Cold Open – SNL”: “Chuck Todd (Kyle Mooney), Eugene Robinson (Kenan Thompson), Peggy Noonan (Cecily Strong) and Donna Brazile (Leslie Jones).” 6-min videoSNL on the Virginia blackface scandal

AP’S CATHERINE LUCEY and JONATHAN LEMIRE: “Trump’s Year 3 aims for dramatic sequels to rival originals”: “As President Donald Trump prepares to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for a second time, he’s out to replicate the suspenseful buildup, make-or-break stakes and far-flung rendezvous of their first encounter.

“The reality star American president will soon learn if the sequel, on this matter and many others, can compete with the original. In his third year in office, Trump is starting to air some reruns.

“Trump is headed into fresh negotiations with North Korea, is still pushing for his long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall and is considering a new round of tax cuts. The focus on his greatest hits in part reflects Trump’s desire to fulfill campaign promises and energize voters for his 2020 re-election campaign. …

“Aides counseled the president that a second summit would probably not carry the same drama as the first, and needed more concrete results, but Trump urged them to push forward before deciding to announce it during this past week’s State of the Union address. He insisted to advisers that the Vietnam summit would still be must-see TV, and told one confidant that the idea of ‘good vs. evil’ would be irresistible.” AP

THE MESS IN VIRGINIA … NORTHAM SPEAKS — “Va. Gov. Ralph Northam says he wants to focus rest of his term on racial equity,” by WaPo’s Gregory S. Schneider in Richmond: “Gov. Ralph Northam, in his first interview since a racist photo from his medical school yearbook came to light a week ago, promised to pursue racial reconciliation as he defended his vow to stay in office despite widespread calls for his resignation. Northam (D), 59, said he wants to spend the remaining three years of his term trying to ensure that black Virginians have the same opportunities as whites.

“Northam seemed chastened and subdued as he described a week of grappling with what ‘white privilege’ means, with the reality of African American history, and with the personal failing of growing up after desegregation and the civil rights era while somehow not realizing that blackface is offensive. … Northam’s office restricted the interview to 30 minutes and stipulated that neither the audio nor a full transcript of the interview be released. …

“‘The things that I did back in medical school and — and — in San Antonio were insensitive and I have learned since that they were very offensive,’ Northam said. ‘We learn from our mistakes and I’m a stronger person.’ Asked later what Northam meant by referring to things he did ‘back in medical school,’ spokeswoman Ofirah Yheskel said he misspoke and just meant San Antonio, where he did his residency.” WaPo

NORTHAM also sat down with CBS’s GAYLE KING for tomorrow’s “CBS This Morning.”

— NYT’S JONATHAN MARTIN, ALAN BLINDER and CAMPBELL ROBERTSON in Richmond: “Justin Fairfax Puts Virginia Democrats in Bind on Impeachment”: “Justin E. Fairfax’s refusal to resign as lieutenant governor of Virginia in the face of two allegations of sexual assault has presented Democrats with an excruciating choice: whether to impeach an African-American leader at a moment when the state’s other two top leaders, both white, are resisting calls to quit after admitting to racist conduct. …

“If Democrats do not oust Mr. Fairfax, at a time when the party has taken a zero-tolerance stand on sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, they could anger female voters. But the specter of Mr. Fairfax, 39, being pushed out while two older white men remain in office — despite blackface behavior that evoked some of the country’s most painful racist images — would deeply trouble many African-Americans.” NYT

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— POLL DU JOUR — “Virginians are split on governor’s fate amid blackface scandal, poll shows,” by WaPo’s Peter Jamison and Scott Clement: “The poll, conducted Wednesday through Friday, finds residents split over Northam’s fate, with 47 percent wanting him to step down and 47 percent saying he should stay on. Northam counts higher support among black residents — who say he should remain in office by a margin of 58 percent to 37 percent — than among whites, who are more evenly divided. …

“The poll … finds that about a third of Virginians think Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) should resign after he admitted wearing blackface at a party when he was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. A 60 percent majority say he should stay in office. Most remain undecided about a woman’s allegation that Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) sexually assaulted her in 2004, with 65 percent saying they didn’t know enough to judge Fairfax’s denial of the accusation.

“Respondents were not asked about a second sexual assault accusation against Fairfax by a Maryland woman on Friday, after the poll began. The Post-Schar School poll also finds that 11 percent of residents have either worn blackface — an activity common in 19th-century minstrel shows, which featured white performers portraying African Americans in demeaning ways — or know someone who has.” WaPo

— WAPO’S MARC FISHER, BETH REINHARD and ARELIS R. HERNANDEZ: “On Virginia’s rural Eastern Shore, Northam’s views of race took root”: “In the places that helped form Northam’s attitudes, there was little debate about white people who occasionally put on blackface. In Onancock and at Virginia Military Institute (VMI), where Northam went to college, and at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where he trained to be a pediatrician, some whites in the 1970s and 1980s saw blackface as a way to express a racist worldview. But others viewed it, if they thought about it at all, as a benign comic gesture, akin to wearing a fat suit.” WaPo

SUNDAY BEST … GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS spoke with DAVID PECKER’S ATTORNEY ELKAN ABRAMOWITZ on ABC’s “THIS WEEK” about the Jeff Bezos scandal: ABRAMOWITZ: “It absolutely was not extortion and not blackmail. What happened was the story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez.”

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Was it Michael Sanchez?” ABRAMOWITZ: “I can’t discuss who the source was. … It’s confidential within AMI, so I’m not going to answer who the source was. It was somebody close to both Bezos and Ms. Sanchez.”

PLAYBOOK READS

Elizabeth Warren

PHOTO DU JOUR: Sen. Elizabeth Warren acknowledges cheers as she takes the stage during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign in Lawrence, Mass. | Elise Amendola/AP Photo

DEEP DIVE … WAPO’S PAUL SCHWARTZMAN on A1 from New York: “Michael Cohen’s Secret Agenda: Donald Trump’s attorney built a reputation as his loyal bulldog. But like his boss, Cohen had his eye on higher office”: In the fall of 2013, “no one in the billionaire’s coterie was more enthusiastic than Cohen about the prospect of a Governor Trump. Albany, Cohen believed, was a great opportunity not only for his boss but also, as it happened, for himself.

“After the meetings, Cohen would adjourn to his office at Trump Tower to plan next steps with Michael Caputo, the Republican strategist plotting Trump’s gubernatorial campaign. But Cohen surprised Caputo by talking about his own political aspirations.

“He told Caputo he had always wanted to run for mayor of New York City, a race he said he could win if Trump was governor. At one point, Cohen floated the idea of a Trump-Cohen statewide ticket, an idea Caputo considered as absurd as Cohen running for mayor. ‘He kept bringing it up,’ Caputo said. ‘It went from Michael Cohen interested in running for mayor to, well, “I’ll run for lieutenant governor under Donald Trump.” I didn’t want to disabuse him of it, because he was our liaison. I felt like, “Yeah, okay Michael.”’ WaPo

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BONUS GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:

— “Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America,” by Franklin Foer in The Atlantic’s March issue: “When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost.” The Atlantic

— “Secrets of the Chateau Marmont” – Vanity Fair’s Hollywood 2019 issue: “As the ultimate movie-colony clubhouse turns 90, Mark Rozzo prowls among the bungalows and crannies off Sunset Boulevard where mega-stars and ne’er-do-wells, from Garbo and Harlow to Lindsay and Britney, have whiled away nearly a century of enchanted evenings.” VF

— “The Matrix Built Our Reality-Denying World,” by Mark Harris on the cover of NY Mag: “The movie that gave all of us a new way to see (or reject) everything.” NY Mag

— “A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions,” by Ian Parker in The New Yorker – per Longreads.com’s description: “A profile of a scam artist: Before Dan Mallory wrote a New York Times best-selling novel, he rose through the ranks of the publishing industry by creating a series of fabrications about his life and deceiving colleagues.” The New Yorker

— “A Pedophile Doctor Drew Suspicions for 21 Years. No One Stopped Him,” by WSJ’s Christopher Weaver, Dan Frosch and Gabe Johnson: “The federal government’s Indian Health Service failed to protect Native American boys from Pat Weber’s sexual abuse, despite repeated warning signs.” WSJ

— “We were covering the Iranian revolution. Then a single gunshot changed everything,” by William Branigin in WaPo: “Monday marks the 40th anniversary of the revolution … Some argue that if only the United States had more strongly supported the shah … the revolution and all that ensued could have been averted. As a young reporter who by then had lived in Iran for more than three years, I witnessed events that gave me a different perspective: The tide of history was turning — you could feel it — and nothing in the world was going to stop it.” WaPo

— “Beto O’Rourke Was Once Adrift in New York City. Now He’s Searching Again,” by NYT’s Matt Flegenheimer: “As the former Texas congressman weighs a run for president, his rebel-in-moderation youth offers revealing parallels to his search for direction now.” NYT

— “How Trump’s trade war kept Russian fish sticks in U.S. school lunchrooms,” by CNN’s Michael Warren. CNN

— “Yes, politicians wore blackface. It used to be all-American ‘fun,’” by Rhae Lynn Barnes in WaPo’s Outlook section: “One of clearest examples of the relationship between American politicians and amateur blackface is the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, which a century ago might as well have been called the annual White House minstrel show. … Perhaps the most disturbing show was in 1921, when President Warren G. Harding and the Cabinet got an ‘unexpected thrill when a Ku Klux Klan demonstration took place’ during the dinner, as the Baltimore Sun reported it.” WaPo

— “Fight The Ship: Death and valor on a warship doomed by its own Navy,” by ProPublica’s Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi: “It’s the dead of night, and the USS Fitzgerald is on a secret mission to the South China Sea. The sailors on the $ 1.8 billion destroyer are young, tired and poorly trained. Disaster strikes at 1:30:34 a.m.” ProPublicaPart 2, “Years of Warnings, Then Death and Disaster” (h/t Longform.org)

— “Exclusive: Facebook ex-security chief: How ‘hypertargeting’ threatens democracy,” by Roger Parloff in Yahoo Finance: “From his colleagues, a picture emerges of an inspiring, but polarizing figure. There’s a reason Facebook nudged [Alex] Stamos toward the exit door. Some former colleagues—including many who still revere him—acknowledge that he is ‘impolitic,’ ‘volatile,’ ‘dogmatic,’ ‘a self-promoter,’ ‘exhausting,’ ‘rough around the edges’ ‘not the greatest manager,’ ‘short-tempered,’ and, above all, ‘unfiltered.’” Yahoo Finance

— “CIA may have used contractor who inspired ‘Mission: Impossible’ to kill RFK, new book alleges,” by WaPo’s Tom Jackman: “With [Howard Hughes aide Robert] Maheu’s contacts throughout the CIA and organized crime, he is ‘the most credible high-level suspect for the planner of Robert Kennedy’s assassination,’ [Lisa] Pease wrote [in “A Lie Too Big to Fail”]. Maheu died in Las Vegas in 2008 at age 90, after a career that the New York Times once described as having ‘aspects of a novel jointly written by Ian Fleming and Harold Robbins.’” WaPo$ 19.46 on Amazon

PLAYBOOKERS

BIRTHWEEK (was Friday): Bill Ruch of Lewis Burke and Associates (hat tip: Jeff Solnet)

BIRTHDAYS: George Stephanopoulos is 58 … Robert Iger, Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO, is 68 … Liz Hill, Dept. of Ed comms director (h/ts Lexi Hudson and Gillum Ferguson) … CNBC’s Jim Cramer is 64 … POLITICO Magazine’s Margy Slattery … Reuters’ Aram Roston … Susan Crabtree, RealClearPolitics WH/national political correspondent … PBS Newshour’s John Yang is 61 (h/ts Tim Burger) … Glenn Beck is 55 … Mindy Finn, co-founder of Stand Up Republic … Scott Sendek, VP of strategy and business development at Cross Screen Media (h/ts Sara Sendek and Blain Rethmeier) … Cathy Gillespie … Notre Dame’s John Sturm … Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) is 76 … Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) is 57 … Michael Levoff … CNN’s Mallory Thompson … Barbee Ponder … Ketchum alum Stacy Kerans … Izzy Klein, co-founder and principal at Klein/Johnson Group (h/ts Jon Haber) … Natalie Knight … Jo-Marie St. Martin … Michelle Levi Noe …

… Michael R. Gordon, national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal … Connecticut State Rep. Caroline Simmons … Bruce Gates, president of Three Oaks Strategies … Alexandra Bass … Eric Roper … Vince Zito, VP of corporate communications at SunTrust, is 3-0 (h/t Allison Tucker) … POLITICO’s Kaitlyn Tibbetts … Anne Kaiser … Jessica Meyers … Merck’s John Cummins … Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby is 6-0 … Steve Beynon, alum of Washington Examiner … Howie Beigelman is 45 … Kyle Trygstad, editor of National Journal Hotline (h/t Hanna Trudo) … BBC’s Philip Hampsheir … Karen Dahl … Tanya Somanader, chief content officer of Crooked Media … Eric Storey … Tim Graham … Marisa Kashino, senior editor at Washingtonian … Joanna Belanger … Jim Pfaff is 54 … Hector F. Irastorza is 61 … Kevin Duewel … Clark Maturo … Clayton Keir is 34 … Kevin Fitzgerald … Mimi Sheraton is 93.

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