Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus my best scoops. I'd love your tips and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org. And please urge your friends and colleagues to join the conversation by signing up for Sneak Peek.
Situational awareness: On Monday, Vice President Pence will headline the Great America Committee fundraiser at Trump Hotel in D.C., according to a source with direct knowledge. Pence will be introduced by Donald Trump Junior and they expect to raise roughly $500,000. The source described it as the "unofficial kick-off" of Pence's political action committee's 2018 plan. "It's an all day summit...in attendance will be long time supporters of VPOTUS, including...CEOs from various industries."
Trump national security officials are considering an unprecedented federal takeover of a portion of the nation’s mobile network to guard against China, according to sensitive documents obtained by Axios.
The main points: The documents say America needs a centralized nationwide 5G network within three years. There'll be a fierce debate inside the Trump administration — and an outcry from the industry — over the next 6-8 months over how such a network is paid for and built.
The two options laid out by the documents:
Between the lines: A source familiar with the documents' drafting says Option 2 is really no option at all: a single centralized network is what's required to protect America against China and other bad actors.
Why it matters: Option 1 would lead to federal control of a part of the economy that today is largely controlled by private wireless providers. In the memo, the Trump administration likens it to “the 21st century equivalent of the Eisenhower National Highway System” and says it would create a “new paradigm” for the wireless industry by the end of Trump's current term.
The PowerPoint presentation says that the U.S. has to build superfast 5G wireless technology quickly because “China has achieved a dominant position in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure,” and “China is the dominant malicious actor in the Information Domain.”
Reality check: The U.S. wireless industry is already working on deploying 5G networks, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, for example, investing heavily in this area. The process for setting 5G standards is well underway. Korea has been at the forefront of testing, as have Japan and others. It's not clear a national strategy would yield a 5G network faster or by the memo’s 3-year goal.
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images
I can't overstate the level of anxiety among sources close to Trump after the president told the NYT's Maggie Haberman last week he was willing and eager to submit himself to a live interview under oath with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
A number of people in the president's orbit have read this article by Bloomberg's Timothy O'Brien: "I've Watched Trump Testify Under Oath. It Isn't Pretty."
In the article, O'Brien writes:
Be smart: Trump's lawyers are already signaling they are deeply uncomfortable about the prospect of a live, freewheeling session between Trump and Mueller. Shortly after Trump made his brash declaration, Trump's attorney John Dowd told CNN: "I will make the decision on whether the President talks to the special counsel... I have not made any decision yet."
Worthy of your time: The Washington Post has a juicy story on how Trump — who is obsessed with personal loyalty — remains perilously at odds with his own Justice Department.
Trump will give his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, and only the smallest circle of advisers have seen the full text.
I haven't seen the text — nor has any other reporter so far as I can tell — and I don't have any scoops on the content, beyond the bland talking points that the Trump administration has distributed to conservative allies outside of the White House:
Behind-the-scenes: Trump wanted a speech with big emotional "moments," according to sources close to the president. Sources tell me not to expect any major new policies to be rolled out.
President Trump's week ahead:
The Senate has a light schedule this week. They'll vote Monday afternoon on a motion to invoke cloture on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act." (I'm told it will likely fail to pass.)
The United States Consulate in Frankfurt has been promoting on its official Instagram page a motivational speaker invited out from America to address the youths of Germany.
The guest speaker, Ricardo Calderón (or @CalderonSpeaks on Twitter), has some strong thoughts about President Trump:
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Consulate in Germany told me that Frankfurt and Philadelphia — the city Calderón comes from — are "sister cities and he came at the invitation of one of the friendship societies between the sister cities."
Reminder: The Senate still hasn't confirmed Trump's nominee for ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell.