The Note: All in the Family

January 10, 2017, 7:46 AM



--JARED KUSHNER NAMED WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, is expected to serve as an unpaid senior adviser to the president, while Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump, will not immediately take a formal role in the White House, Trump transition officials said. “Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted advisor throughout the campaign and transition and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration,” President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement. Kushner will resign from his position at Kushner Companies and "divest substantial assets," said Jamie Gorelick, his attorney and partner at the law firm of WilmerHale, note ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI, SHUSHANNAH WALSHE and KATHERINE FAULDERS.

--DEMS CALL ON DOJ TO LOOK INTO JARED KUSHNER'S WHITE HOUSE ROLE: Democrats on Capitol Hill were quick to express their concerns Monday with the news that President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law plans to take a post as a senior adviser in the incoming White House. Leaders on the House Judiciary Committee wrote a letter calling on the Department of Justice and Office of Government Ethics to look into anti-nepotism laws that might limit what Kushner, who is expected not to take a salary, can and cannot do as he is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS reports.

--TRUMP'S PICK FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL TO MAKE FINAL CASE FOR CONFIRMATION: Later this morning, Sen. Jeff Sessions will lay out his case before Senate colleagues over why he should be confirmed as the country’s next attorney general, ABC’s MIKE LEVINE. In particular, he will vow to tell incoming president Donald Trump “no” when necessary. He will defend police and law enforcement officers across the country who have been “unfairly maligned” in recent years, and he will insist he understands the struggle for justice by “African-American brothers and sisters” and from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to prepared remarks to be made before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In his confirmation hearing before the committee, Sessions, R-Alabama, is sure to face tough questions over his record on civil rights and his plan for cooling tensions between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Keep an eye on Sen. Cory Booker. Not that he’s making himself easy to ignore, with his decision to break Senate precedent to testify in opposition to his colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions, in confirmation hearings for attorney general. This is not really about blocking Sessions from joining the Cabinet. (Sen. Susan Collins’ participation in favor of Sessions sends a more important signal, about the minimal chance of GOP defections.) For Booker, this is more about early markers for a Democratic Party looking for new leaders. The Justice Department will be at the forefront of critical issues regarding race, law enforcement, criminal-justice reform, and drug policy – issues where President Obama’s legacy is acutely in the balance. Who will be seen standing up for those values in a dark season for Democrats? It might not be too hard to imagine actions taken this week being filtered onto a Democratic debate stage in 2019.

--HAPPENING TONIGHT - WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OBAMA'S FAREWELL ADDRESS: President Barack Obama will return to his adopted hometown of Chicago on Tuesday to deliver a farewell address to the American people, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS reports. In an email announcing the speech to supporters last week, Obama said the speech would be "a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey … and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here." In giving a final speech, Obama is continuing in a tradition first started by the President George Washington in 1796 and continued by many outgoing presidents since.


HOW TRUMP'S CABINET PICKS ARE PREPARING FOR CONFIRMATION HEARINGS. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has been drilling his Cabinet picks for weeks ahead of the confirmation hearing blitz set to begin on Capitol Hill this week. Cabinet nominees have sat for a combined 30 practice hearings in a mock hearing room the transition team constructed in their offices just minutes from the White House. There, in a space designed to resemble the cavernous committee hearing rooms on Capitol Hill, ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL notes, Trump’s Cabinet picks have spent more than 70 hours answering hundreds of questions from volunteers posing as senators in intense sessions known as “murder boards.”

LOOKING AHEAD AT POSSIBLE SENATE CONFIRMATION FLASHPOINTS. Trump has been building out his Cabinet since he won the election in November, and for the most part, the nominees have largely stayed silent with the exception of brief statements once their names were announced. Now the Cabinet hopefuls will face questions from corresponding Senate committees during their confirmation hearings, eight of which are slated to take place this week. While some of the nominees are less controversial, there are at least six candidates whose hearings could cause fireworks. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has a primer on some of the possible flashpoints:

SENATE CONFIRMATION HEARINGS: EVERYTHING TO KNOW. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office in less than two weeks. Whether he has a cabinet ready to help him on day-one largely depends on how fast the men and women he tapped to lead federal agencies can be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Eight of Trump's picks will sit for confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill this week and they can expect a grilling. ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and ALI ROGIN provide a closer look at how the process works:

RUSSIA, WIKILEAKS PUSH BACK ON US REPORT ON HACKING. Russia's government responded for the first time Monday to a U.S. intelligence report last week on alleged Russian hacking, calling the claims "absolutely unfounded" and "amateur." "From our point of view, absolutely unfounded accusations continue to be made on a rather amateur, emotional level, which is hardly applicable to the highly professional work of truly top-notch security services," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "We are really tired of these accusations," Peskov told reporters on Monday. The accusation against Russia "actually resembles a 'witch hunt' to the utmost." ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN has more:

CONGRESSIONAL PANEL WILL CONTINUE TO PROBE CLINTON EMAILS. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Monday he plans to continue his panel's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of private email. Noting his role is not to be a "cheerleader" for a GOP White House, Chaffetz suggested he'll keep eye on Donald Trump's potential conflicts of interests and the role his family members will be playing in the new administration, according to ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and MARY BRUCE. "We still have an important role in oversight, I'm not going to dismiss it," Chaffetz told a group of reporters Monday.


@mkraju: Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing to head Education Dept. delayed til Jan 17

@edatpost: NEW: @RepMikePompeo 's confirmation hearing to be CIA director postponed one day

@seungminkim: Wow. @CoryBooker testimony against Sessions will be 1st time sitting senator has gone against another sitting sen for Cabinet, per historian

@meridithmcgraw: Inside Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s negotiating style: cozy with power, unbending, theatrical … via @WSJ

@mkeneally: The Meryl bounce: @pressfreedom spox told me they've gotten $80k+ in donations post Streep's #GoldenGlobes with over 1k individual donations