Proud to shut down

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U.S. House Speaker designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks with Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. President Donald Trump as they meet with her and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2018. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Trump had a fiery meeting with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi where he said he’d be proud to shut down the government as he pursues congressional funding for his border wall. The deadline for an agreement to keep the government open is next week — will there be a deal before then? And if a shutdown looms, will he be able to take back that line about taking credit for it?

There was more drama in the Oval Office this week with the announcement that President Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly will be departing. Who’s in line to replace him? While the Left, Right & Center panel was discussing the names, news broke that Chris Christie (reportedly a frontrunner) wasn’t interested in the job. Wait, does anyone want this job?

Oh wait, there was more drama this week. President Trump’s former personal lawyer was sentenced to three years for his involvement in the hush-money scandal with the president and Stormy Daniels. Also, the parent company of the tabloid National Enquirer is cooperating with prosecutors and it says it worked with the Trump campaign to buy and stifle a story (from former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal) that could hurt it. Does it matter if the president committed a little felony? Maria Butina, the former gun rights activist and Russian spy, has also pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Evleyn Farkas discusses the significance of her plea, and the developments this week with President Trump and Meng Wanzhou, the executive of Chinese tech company Huawei who was arrested in Canada.

Switching gears — almost completely — to another job no one wants: hosting the Oscars. Keli Goff talks about the fallout between the Academy and comedian Kevin Hart, plus (switching gears again) new policies about sexual harassment in Congress. Will it change things for the better?