Trump’s border battle goes prime time

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Buckle up: President Trump's prime-time Oval Office speech tonight comes on Day 18 of a shutdown he caused on the issue he wants to define his presidency — immigration.

Following Trump's speech at 9 pm ET, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will appear on air from the House Speaker's Balcony Hallway.

  • Unlike last year, when Democrats could only express their concern about Trump, Pelosi now speaks as a figure Trump needs to deal with on equal terms.
  • Trump isn’t expected to declare a national emergency, WSJ reports.

Between the lines: Trump appears to be playing defense.

  • It's unclear why incoming Democrats would be swayed by this issue so shortly after the president made it a central election topic and his party lost the House.
  • House Democrats also plan to start introducing bills to re-open parts of the government, hoping the threat of defecting Republicans persuades leadership to break with Trump.
  • Senate Democrats are working to grind legislation to a standstill to pressure Mitch McConnell, the NY Times reports.
  • Trump will attend a Senate Republican lunch meeting on Wednesday, according to multiple people familiar with the decision.

Go deeper: Reality check — The truth about Trump's border crisis

What's next

Pelosi slams McConnell trial rules as "deliberately designed to hide the truth"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed in a statement Tuesday that the rules Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has proposed for President Trump's impeachment trial diverge from the Clinton precedent and show he has "chosen a cover-up" over a fair trial.

Context: McConnell made public an organizing resolution Monday laying out the terms for the trial, which include 24 hours over two days for each side to present their cases. It would block evidence discovered in the House impeachment investigation from being presented without a separate vote, and would delay a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents until later in the trial.

Setting the scene for Super Bowl LIV

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After a grueling four months of football, Patrick Mahomes has led the Chiefs out of the darkness and into the Miami sun, where the 49ers football machine awaits them in the Super Bowl.

"The Gunslinger"

Mahomes is 24 years old, arguably the best player in football and he just toppled Tom Brady as the top seller of NFL merchandise. A star has already been born — now he has the biggest stage in sports to showcase his brilliance.

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Exclusive: The Athletic raises $50 million

Adam Hansmann (left) and Alex Mather (right), co-founders of The Athletic. Photo: Steph Gray, courtesy of The Athletic

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, has raised $50 million in a Series D funding round, executives tell Axios.

  • With this investment, the company has raised a total of $139.5 million since its launch in 2016 and is valued at roughly $500 million after the new raise, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Media