1/ Hill staffers secretly worked on Trump’s immigration order. Several House Judiciary Committee aides helped craft the controversial directive without telling Republican leaders. The news of their involvement helps unlock the mystery of whether the White House consulted Capitol Hill about the executive order, and confirms that the small group of staffers were among the only people on the Hill who knew of the looming controversial policy. (Politico)

UPDATE: San Francisco sues Trump over executive orders it claims are unconstitutional. (LA Times)

  • Draft executive order points to more immigration restrictions, focusing on protecting U.S. jobs. The Trump administration is considering a plan to weed out would-be immigrants who are likely to require public assistance, as well as to deport — when possible — immigrants already living in the United States who depend on taxpayer help. (Washington Post)

  • Trump’s travel ban polarizes America. A Jan. 30-31 Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found that 49 percent of American adults said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed with Trump’s order, while 41 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” disagreed and another 10 percent said they don’t know. (Reuters)


  • Under fire, Trump weighs new changes to refugee ban. The Department of Homeland Security may issue “implementation guidance” that would allow for softening, and even policy changes, to the travel restrictions on migrants. The White House insists that any further guidance wouldn’t constitute a walk-back. (Axios)

  • White House aides who wrote Trump’s travel ban see it as just the start. (LA Times)

  • Paul Ryan urges Republicans to back travel ban despite anger over its rollout. (The Guardian)

2/ Obama’s protections for L.G.B.T. workers will remain. The White House said Trump would leave in place a 2014 order that created new protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, pledging to protect the community from violence and oppression. It uses stronger language than any Republican president has before in favor of equal legal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. (NY Times)

3/ DeVos questionnaire appears to include passages from uncited sources. In written responses to questions from senators, DeVos used several sentences and phrases from other sources without attribution. (Washington Post)

4/ Democrats boycott confirmation hearings for Price and Mnuchin, forcing Republicans to reschedule both votes. (Washington Post)

UPDATE: Dems delay Sessions vote. Democrats have fiercely criticized Trump’s executive order and Yates’s firing, and said that any vote for Sessions is a vote to let Trump stifle dissent in his Justice Department. (The Hill)


  • Senate Democrats renewed an assault on Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, questioning his independence after the president fired the acting attorney general for refusing to enforce his executive order on immigration. (Bloomberg)

5/ Trump bringing Supreme Court favorites to Washington. Trump is announcing his choice at 8 p.m. EST tonight. (CNN)


  • People think Trump is treating his Supreme Court nomination like a reality show. Because he is. (BuzzFeed News)

  • Democrats shouldn’t go scorched-earth on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. (Washington Post)

6/ Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $425 million to New York’s banking regulator over a “mirror trading” scheme that helped Russian investors launder $10 billion between 2011 and 2015 through its branches in Moscow, London and New York. Clients would buy stocks in the Moscow branch in rubles and then related parties would sell the same stocks in Deutsche’s New York and London branches. (Reuters / New York Times / The Guardian / CNN Money)

News of Lesser Importance:

  • How to build an autocracy. The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism. (The Atlantic)

  • Trump ignored all of Obama’s advice and now he’s in a world of trouble. There’s no need for Obama to hold his tongue anymore. (New Republic)

  • The tale of a Trump falsehood: How his voter fraud claim spread like a virus. The blow by blow on Trump’s claim that 3 to 5 million undocumented immigrants illegally voted in the election. (Washington Post)

  • The incompetence displayed by Trump’s immigration orders will be terrifying in a crisis. All presidents eventually face a crisis that is not of their own creation. And it will be in the interest of Donald Trump to respond in a calm, well-informed, and effective manner. (Vox)

  • Can Jared and Ivanka outrun Trump’s Scandals? Less than a fortnight into his new post, Kushner appears unable to control his father-in-law—and is “furious” that his efforts are being undermined. (Vanity Fair)

  • Fox News’ Sean Hannity: The media ‘doesn’t understand’ Donald Trump. By highlighting pundits and polls that dismissed Trump’s chances of winning the Presidency, Hannity argues, the “mainstream media” effectively delegitimized itself. (Politico)

    “When you have The New York Times, a host on CNN, a guest on MSNBC, all calling the President of the United States a liar, if that is their coverage, they will never get their credibility back,” Hannity said. “They don’t understand Donald Trump, they don’t understand the phenomenon, they don’t understand what happened in this election, the level of elitism is breathtaking to me.”


    • Kellyanne Conway ramps up Trump’s war on the media. (Fortune)
  • President Bannon’s hugely destructive first week in office. The puppet master is leading the Trump administration down a road of carnage. (Foreign Policy)