The Note: Trump confronts trust deficit as 'Chuck and Nancy' visit

PHOTO: President Donald Trump meets with, from left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office, Sept. 6, 2017, in Washington.PlayEvan Vucci/AP
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The TAKE with Rick Klein

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The problem isn't that they don't like each other. (They sometimes do -- nicknames aside.)

The problem isn't that they don't agree on some things. (They definitely do -- and they used to even more.)

The problem is that they just don't trust each other. (They have reasons for that.)

We get a sneak peek at the new Washington reality on Tuesday when President Donald Trump meets with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and the once-and-likely-future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"Chuck and Nancy" don't come to the White House with a clean slate, having been burned on guns and immigration. But Trump is likely to need Democrats to help fund the government. It's an early taste of life with a divided government.

Trump surely will surprise some people in 2019 by trying to cut deals with erstwhile enemies as circumstances dictate.

Yet Democrats remember the head fakes and outright reversals from the president on gun control, health care and immigration. The president needs Congress, including Democrats, at a moment when fewer on Capitol Hill see his word as a bond.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

With nine legislative days remaining on the current congressional calendar, members have assembled a long wish list of items they hope to pass in this lame-duck session.

First, to avoid a partial shutdown over the holidays, Congress needs to fund the remaining government agencies for next year. A handful have been guaranteed appropriated funds already.

That conversation and, specifically, funding for the Department of Homeland Security and a border wall, will likely dominate the meeting between Democratic congressional leaders and the president at the White House Tuesday.

But a number of other bills that have been prioritized by various members too, including the farm bill, a resolution on Saudi Arabia and the war in Yemen, criminal justice reform, relief money for wildfire victims, an extension of federal flood insurance and a bill to restrict how a special counsel could be fired.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, Calif., March 13, 2018. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, Calif., March 13, 2018.

The TIP with John Verhovek

Trump has been openly giddy about the prospect of running against billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2020, telling the New York Post last month, "I'd love to run against Little Michael."

Bloomberg has been inching toward a presidential run for months now. He also spent over $100 million during the midterms to boost a host of candidates running in key swing districts on which Democrats built their House majority. The lesson Bloomberg learned: Democrats want moderation.

"I think most Democrats want a middle-of-the-road strategy. They want to make progress," Bloomberg said in an interview on ABC's "The View" on Monday.

Democrats back by Bloomberg, such as Kendra Horn, who flipped a seat in deep red Oklahoma, won by pitching themselves as pragmatists. Others who he supported, like Georgia's Lucy McBath, made a hot-button issue like gun control -- which resonates with the Democratic base -- a central issue of her campaign and emerged victorious.

Maybe pragmatism and a "middle-of-the-road" strategy works for Bloomberg in certain parts of the country, but the question is whether it would enable him to break through a field of candidates that will include many who promise generational change in a party that remains in the hands of the old guard.

PHOTO: Michael Bloomberg appears on ABCs The View, Dec. 12, 10. Heidi Gutman /ABC
Michael Bloomberg appears on ABC's "The View," Dec. 12, 10.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks, who has a preview of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer's meeting at the White House Tuesday. ABC News' Aaron Katersky tells us why alleged Russian agent Maria Butina appears poised to plead guilty. Then, ABC News' Kyra Phillips explains the rise of online "deepfakes" and how they could impact the 2020 elections.

FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast: Trump's Turbulent Week. In Monday's episode, the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew tries to make sense of the recent turbulence in Trump's world, including possible campaign finance violations and another staffing shake-up. The team also checks on potential election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.


  • President Donald Trump meets with Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi at the White House at 11:30 a.m. Trump then has lunch with Defense Secretary James Mattis.
  • First lady Melania Trump delivers gifts and remarks at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign.
  • Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's legal team will attend a scheduling hearing set for 3 p.m. at the U.S. District Court in Washington.
  • Among the women expected to speak at Politico's Women Summit today: Rep.-elect Abigail Spanberger, Rep.-elect Carol Miller, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases its 2018 Arctic Report Card at an 11 a.m. event at the American Geophysical Union. The report will provide the latest information on the region's sea ice levels, snow cover, air and ocean temperature and ecosystem changes, among other topics.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai appears at a 10 a.m. House Judiciary Committee hearing.
  • The Note has a new look! Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis. The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.