HUFFPOST HILL - Washington To Have Forgotten Russia Report By Kickoff Saturday

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Rep. Duncan Hunter handled the controversy surrounding his rabbit plane ticket expenses like a total pro, taking the heat off of himself by vandalizing a child’s painting. Congress certified Donald Trump’s electoral college victory with Faith Spotted Eagle strongly positioned in the establishment lane. And Wikileaks tweeted that it wants to create an invasive database of verified Twitter users. This will undoubtedly be discussed at our Aspen Ideas Festival panel, “Verified Lives Matter.” Joining us will be Mika Brzezinski and Pharrell’s hat (Tom Friedman has a scheduling conflict, but we’ll air a pre-recorded video he filmed from the brass-lined train car where Charlie Rose lives). This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, January 6th, 2016:

DNI RUSSIA REPORT OUT - Here’s the beginning of its “Key Judgments” section: “Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations. We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments. We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.” [Full Report]

Other highlights:

- “In July 2015, Russian intelligence gained access to Democratic National Committee (DNC) networks and maintained that access until at least June 2016….We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.”

- “We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.”  

- “We assess that influence campaigns are approved at the highest levels of the Russian Government—particularly those that would be politically sensitive.”

- “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards. DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”

- “Putin has had many positive experiences working with Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia, such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

TRUMP GETS INTEL BRIEFING, SAYS IT WAS GREAT - Christina Wilkie: “Trump released a statement following the meeting, calling the talks ‘constructive” and emphasizing that he has ‘tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of [the intelligence] community to our great nation.’ ‘While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat [sic] National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,’ Trump said.” [HuffPost]

CONGRATULATIONS, GS-12s, LOUIE GOHMERT MIGHT FIRE YOU - Paul Blumenthal: “House Republicans resurrected a decades-old provision in their new rules package that allows lawmakers to lower the salary or eliminate the job of individual federal employees. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, championed the arcane provision, called the Holman Rule for the Indiana congressman who created it in 1876, as a tool to allow lawmakers to make targeted spending reductions or eliminate positions they deem unnecessary. In an interview with The Washington Post, Griffith said he would like members to use the Holman Rule like a sniper rifle instead of like a shotgun...Democrats also said they feared the rule gives Republicans the tools to root out individual federal workers who hold views or perform work that is not favored by the incoming administration. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team reportedly asked for the names of individual Department of Energy employees who worked on the Paris climate accord.”  [HuffPost]

‘President-elect’s office, please hold... Just kidding, Donald here!’ Jessica Schulberg: “Donald Trump, who will be president of the United States in 14 days, answers calls on his cellphone, even when there is no caller identification information available, according to a Republican senator who is in frequent communication with him. On Sunday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) needed to talk to Trump, he told reporters Friday at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. ‘I called him on his cellphone, he answered it, we talked,’ Corker said. ‘And by the way, my phone says, ‘No caller ID,’ so I’m not saying that has anything to do with me. Nobody has any idea who’s calling when I’m calling.’” [HuffPost]

Today’s great story about nuclear annihilation.

DELANEY DOWNER - President-elect Donald Trump likes sending mean tweets that single out auto companies for not making vehicles in the United States, but there is no such thing as a completely American-made car. While there are many cars that are ultimately assembled in the U.S., none are composed entirely of American-made parts, thanks to supply chains that go back and forth across national borders. Federal law requires automakers to disclose the percentage of North American content in a vehicle. The most “American” cars, according to the government’s data for 2016, are the Chevrolet Traverse, the GMC Acadia and the Honda Accord, each of which scored 80 percent. “When was the last car produced that was 100 percent made in America? it might have been the Model T,” said Frank DuBois, a supply chain expert and professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business. “Nothing is 100 percent made in America.” [HuffPost]

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ALL IN ALL, YOU’RE JUST ANOTHER (UNFUNDED OUTLAY) IN THE WALL - All the taco bowl tweets in all the world couldn’t save Trump from this. Christina Wilkie: “President-elect Donald Trump said on Friday that he intends for U.S. taxpayers to fund the construction of his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. ‘The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!’ [Trump tweeted]. The tweet Trump wrote on Friday morning followed multiple reports detailing how members of his transition team have been working with congressional Republicans to come up with a way to use taxpayer dollars to pay for building the wall...making U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for the border wall would violate one of Trump’s central campaign promises...Neither Trump nor his transition team have explained how Trump might go about trying to force a sovereign nation like Mexico to fork over billions of dollars for a domestic building project it opposes.” [HuffPost]

WHO NEEDS TO OPEN UP THOSE LIBEL LAWS WHEN YOU HAVE THE FBI - Thoughts and prayers to Trump’s in-house counsel, who’ll be spending the next four years filing nothing but nuisance suits. Christina Wilkie and Samuel Levine: “Two weeks before he is sworn in as president, Donald Trump said Friday he would ask Congress to investigate the source of an NBC News report that senior Russian officials celebrated after Trump’s election victory. ‘I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it,’ [Trump tweetd]. The NBC News story quoted an unnamed intelligence official confirming the post-election celebrating, a detail first reported by The Washington Post. The intelligence official also described the findings of a top-secret, multi-agency report, which lays out the case that Russia stole, then released, thousands of emails intended to damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. President Barack Obama was briefed on the report Thursday afternoon. Trump was scheduled to receive the same briefing on Friday in New York. But the fact that someone knew what was in the report before Trump did, and spoke to the press about it, seemed to enrage the president-elect.” [HuffPost]

House Republicans have put three women in charge of committees.

‘I’M NOT MAD DOG, I’M JUST DISAPPOINTED DOG’ - Fade into the Secretary of Defense-designee doing 500 straight “count ten” exercises. Josh Rogin: “The honeymoon seems to be ending between retired Gen. James N. Mattis and Donald Trump’s transition team amid an increasingly acrimonious dispute over who will get top jobs in the Defense Department — and who gets to make those decisions. With only two weeks left before Inauguration Day and days before Mattis’s Senate confirmation hearing, most major Pentagon civilian positions remain unfilled. Behind the scenes, Mattis has been rejecting large numbers of candidates offered by the transition team for several top posts, two sources close to the transition said. The dispute over personnel appointments is contributing to a tenser relationship between Mattis and the transition officials, which could set the stage for turf wars between the Pentagon and the White House in the coming Trump administration.” [WaPo]

Sam Johnson is retiring ― watch for all the Nazis to try and get their Social Security benefits.

PUBLIC SPLIT ON OBAMACARE REPEAL, NOT KEEN ON GOP STRATEGY - Jonathan Cohn: “The poll, which the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation conducted in December, finds the public almost evenly split on whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act ― 49 percent want repeal, 47 percent do not. Those numbers have a partisan tint, as most Republicans favor repeal and most Democrats oppose it. But even many Republican voters seem unenthusiastic about eliminating the law before Congress crafts a replacement, as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP leaders have proposed. Overall, according to the poll, just 20 percent of Americans say that is their preferred strategy for eliminating Obamacare. The survey also says 62 percent of Americans think it’s important to guarantee access to health care, even if that means bigger government or more federal spending. That’s more or less what Obamacare has done, by using government programs to help more than 20 million people get health insurance.” [HuffPost]

GROWN-ASS-MAN RUNS OFF WITH CHILD’S PAINTING - It’s even more incredible when you think all the misdeeds of people whose statues line the Capitol building.  Matt Fuller: “After recent controversy over a painting hanging in a Capitol tunnel that depicts cops as pigs, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) removed the art Friday without permission and returned it to the Democratic colleague who had selected the painting as the winning entry in a district-wide contest for high school students. Hunter apparently unscrewed the painting from the wires it hung on as a group of GOP congressmen looked on, brought the painting to the office of the congressman who had selected the painting ― Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) ― and then bragged to Fox News about his act of censorship...The painting, which had been hanging there since June, caught the attention of some Republican congressmen after an Independent Journal Review article noted that the artwork depicts cops as pigs holding someone up at gunpoint and protesters stand in the background holding signs that read ‘Racism kills’ and ‘History.’ There is also an African-American who is being crucified while holding the scales of justice in the picture.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a dog evolving for some food.

L.O.L. BEAN - That sound you hear are the anguished cries of 10,000 lefty moms in Brookline.  L.L. Bean heiress Linda Bean is in hot water with the Federal Election Commission over a political action committee she created to support Republican President-elect Donald Trump. According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, federal regulators say Bean’s Making America Great Again LLC was limited to individual contributions of $5,000 in a single year— and Bean contributed $60,000. The group spent $66,862 supporting Trump. Trump won enough support in the 2nd Congressional District to split Maine’s electoral votes, taking one vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s three.” [AP]


- Champagne Jell-O shots are next level.

- One last session with Barack Obama’s anger translator.

- Behold the $9,000 laptop.


@daveweigel: Trump is better at getting the media to write about the TV show he produces than Obama was at getting it to write about Merrick Garland.

@NYTMinusContext: at the personal level she’s awkward and something of a dingbat

@DGisSERIOUS: also has wikileaks never heard of Lexis Nexis?

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