The Note: Welcome to Confirmation Week



--CABINET HEARING BLITZ HITS CAPITOL HILL: It’s a busy week on Capitol Hill as the first of Trump’s Cabinet picks face confirmation hearings this week, ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ reports. The hearing blitz kicks off on Tuesday with hearings for Trump’s Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions and his choice for DHS Secretary John Kelly. Up to six other nominees - including Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson - are expected to have hearings this week.CONFIRMATION HEARING SCHEDULE, courtesy of ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and ALI ROGIN here:

--DEMOCRATS URGE GOP TO SLOW DOWN CONFIRMATION PROCESS: Democrats and the government ethics office are raising concerns about several nominees who haven't completed the standard ethics review process, as at least eight of Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees prepare for confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill this week, ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL reports. "The announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me," Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub said in a letter to top senators released by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York. "This schedule has created undue pressure on OGE's staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews."

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Welcome to confirmation week. Don’t look now, but it might actually be a smooth one, at least on the Trump scale. The chaos around Donald Trump largely hasn’t visited his choices to join his Cabinet. It’s even possible that all of his selections wind up getting confirmed – thanks to Democrats’ changes to confirmation thresholds, and a team that’s been deliberate in providing cover for each of them. You can also thank Trump’s personally run noise machine: Attacking Meryl Streep, just to pick one morning’s Twitter battle, makes a fight against Tom Price less compelling. The fact remains, though, that the crush of hearings and stirrings of legislative action this week will go a long way toward determining the success of the Trump agenda. So far, it’s a strong start.

--KELLYANNE CONWAY TALKS HEARING PREP: Appearing on Fox and Friends this morning, ABC’s ARLETTE SAENZ notes, Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway talked about some of the hearing preparation Trump’s Cabinet picks are undergoing. “Anything from the substance of the job they will be doing in their respective agencies and departments,” Conway said, adding that Tillerson may have been prepped on his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “They’re also asked some questions that I recall on the political media access. In other words, we know that politics on full display on the confirmation hearings. People will try to get their 15 minutes of fame.”


OBAMA SAYS 'OBAMACARE' WILL SURVIVE BEYOND HIS PRESIDENCY. President Barack Obama says he believes his signature health care law will survive, noting he has told Republicans over his two terms in office to come up with a different solution if the law doesn't work. Asked by ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS whether he thinks the Affordable Care Act will survive, Obama quickly replied, "I think it will." "It may be called something else. And as I said, I don't mind. If in fact the Republicans make some modifications, some of which I may have been seeking previously, but they wouldn't cooperate because they didn't want to -- make the system work, and relabel it as Trumpcare, I'm fine with that," he said in an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday. ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL has more.

OBAMA WARNS OF ‘ACCELERATING’ THREAT OF HACKING BY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. After the release of the intelligence community’s declassified report about Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, President Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that the Russians "intended to meddle." “I think that what is true is that the Russians intended to meddle and they meddled,” President Obama told George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on "This Week" Sunday. The president warned of the threat to future elections if the United States doesn’t address the issue of cybersecurity, ABC’s MOLLY NAGLE and NICKI ROSSOLL note.

OBAMA SAYS HE AND TRUMP 'ARE SORT OF OPPOSITES.' President Obama said he thinks it's fair to say that he and President-elect Donald Trump "are sort of opposites in some ways," but he admitted there is one thing they have in common: confidence. "It's probably a prerequisite for the job, or at least you have to have enough craziness to think that you can do the job," President Obama said on “This Week.” ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL has more.

OBAMA OPENS UP ABOUT SASHA AND MALIA’S TIME IN THE WHITE HOUSE. President Obama opened up about his daughters’ experience growing up in the White House, saying he and Michelle Obama had been concerned, "mostly about whether they'd develop an attitude." But the president, in an exclusive interview on "This Week," said, "All I can say is they have turned out to be terrific young women,” ABC’s MOLLY NAGLE notes.

BLACK COLLEGE BAND'S PLAN TO MARCH AT TRUMP INAUGURAL SPURS SOME OPPOSITION. Talladega College, a historically black college in Alabama, is sending its marching band to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inaugural parade despite protests by some alumni and members of the public. Shirley Ferrill, a retired grandmother and graduate of Talladega's class of 1974, launched a petition on on Jan. 4 asking the college to withdraw its band from the inaugural parade on Friday, Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C. By Sunday, it had drawn more than 2,600 signatures, ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN reports.


@realDonaldTrump: Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a.....

@realDonaldTrump: Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him.......

@patrickhealynyt: I called President-elect Trump at midnight to ask about Meryl Streep's speech. "A Hillary lover," he said. And more:

@DavidWright_CNN: Kellyanne Conway on @NewDay: "Do you always want to go by what’s come out of [Trump's] mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart?"

@NYMag: New this issue: Jared Kushner is more like his father-in-law than anyone imagines. @riceid reports