Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
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Photo: "Axios on HBO"
Iraqi President Barham Salih — long known as a pro-American leader — says he is no longer sure he can rely on the U.S. as an ally and may be ready to "recalibrate" Iraq's relationship with other countries, including Iran and Russia.
Why it matters: In an extraordinarily candid interview with "Axios on HBO," Salih said he still values his country's alliance with the U.S. 16 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He wants to keep that alliance — but made clear that the Trump administration's policies are making that difficult.
The big picture: The interview was conducted last Monday — six days before Trump announced the successful U.S. operation that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Several times in the interview, Salih used the words "recalibrate" or "rethinking" to describe how Iraq must approach its relationship with the United States — noting at one point that "dependability is important" in allies.
The nearly hour-long interview — in one of Saddam Hussein's old palaces, mostly unchanged since the days when he ruled Iraq — showed clearly how Salih feels as a leader who has relied on the U.S. as an ally for decades.
Among his biggest concerns: the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, leaving the Kurds to fend for themselves and increasing the danger of a resurgence of ISIS.
Photo: "Axios on HBO"
Iraqi President Barham Salih says he's "worried" about a war breaking out between the United States and Iran — and that this war would spell "disaster for everybody."
Driving the news: Salih is stuck between the U.S. and Iran, as he considers both countries to be Iraq's allies. When it was put to Salih that he might have to pick a side if war breaks out, Salih said Iraq couldn't afford to choose between the U.S. and Iran.
Why it matters: If the U.S. goes to war with Iran, some analysts believe that Iraq would be the first battlefield. The U.S. has more than 5,000 troops stationed in Iraq. Iran, using the militias it controls inside Iraq, could attack the U.S. forces as these militias have done in the past.
One of the most remarkable — and telling — parts of the interview was when Salih refused to predict whether Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi would still be in office in a week.
The big picture: Iraq has been reeling from anti-government protests, including a deadly one Friday and another in early October in which Iraqi security forces killed 149 people and wounded more than 3,000, according to an investigation by a government panel.
Go deeper (video).
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The pace of House Democrats' investigation into President Trump and Ukraine will accelerate this week with a series of hearings from key administration officials, including a highly anticipated appearance from a top official on the National Security Council, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
What we're watching: Tim Morrison, the NSC's Russia and Europe director, will be the first currently serving White House official to testify before the committees on Thursday. He's also the first official who is believed to have been on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is at the crux of Democrats' inquiry.
Meanwhile, the White House is being stymied in its efforts to prevent current and former officials from complying with the committees' requests, and Morrison appears to be no exception.
Trump, who compared the impeachment inquiry to a "lynching" this week, has been extremely frustrated with Democrats' investigation, and he has lashed out at the officials cooperating.
But three veterans who have served with Taylor defended him in powerful interviews with CNN's Jake Tapper and Kate Sullivan, describing him as a "man of honor," "public servant" and "role model" who "represents the best of our Department of State."
What's next: The following current and former administration officials are also scheduled to testify this week:
Former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman was subpoenaed by the House committees to appear on Monday.
Photo: "Axios on HBO"
Axios' Margaret Talev caught up with Kamala Harris in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Harris says running for president as a woman of color in the 2020 election is different than running as a black man or as a white woman and that the question of electability has emerged as "the elephant in the room about my campaign."
Why it matters: In an interview with Margaret for "Axios on HBO," the California senator, stuck around fifth place in Democratic presidential primary polls, says there’s still time to regain momentum to crack the top three in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.
Go deeper: Read the full story.
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The House is expected to vote on a bipartisan package that would impose sanctions on Turkey for invading Syria.
The Senate will vote on a package of appropriations bills to fund federal agencies and departments, including:
President Trump's schedule, per a White House official: