Political News

Washington's mad holiday dash begins

Posted December 14, 2018 7:30 p.m. EST

— This week was a blur as political Washington works frantically to clear its plate before hopping on planes, trains and automobiles to head home for the holidays. (Oh, and there's also a partial government shutdown that may or may not happen next Friday.)

The week started out with a White House chief-of-staff search that went off the rails -- it was unclear who would replace John Kelly after the presumptive successor, Nick Ayers, announced he wouldn't take the job.

But Trump ended speculation late Friday afternoon, tweeting that OMB head Mick Mulvaney would become "acting" chief of staff.

Meanwhile, former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison (a swanky one, at that) on Wednesday, and he's not keeping quiet about his ex-boss anymore. Trump, true to form, hit back at Cohen, saying he never directed Cohen to break the law.

Cohen responded in a TV interview this morning, saying the President wanted him to conceal his actions because Trump "was very concerned about how this would affect the election."

But you know who probably had the best week in Washington? Nancy Pelosi.

Not only did she flip a key constituency of opponents to her future House speakership, but she won plaudits for her composure in a televised, fiery meeting with Trump in the Oval Office. AND the fanfare around the rust-colored Max Mara coat she wore while walking out of the West Wing inspired the fashion house to re-issue the coat five years after taking it off the racks. I'd consider that an early Christmas present for the likely soon-to-be speaker.

There's still a rough road ahead before lawmakers leave town. One major speed bump is a possible government shutdown over funding for Trump's border wall, which will come to a head at the end of next week.

The Point: Unlike Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi had a VERY good week. But 2018 isn't over, and some of the biggest squabbles are still to come.

Now, a recap of the week, in 21 headlines:

Monday:

Trump concerned about being impeached, sees it as a 'real possibility,' source saysGOP shrugs at Trump's involvement in Cohen crimes

Tuesday:

Trump clashes with Pelosi, Schumer in Oval Office over border wallTrump still searching for chief of staffDepartment of Education reorganization set for JanuaryTrump expresses openness to using Huawei CFO as bargaining chip in China trade talksTrump privately brags that Mexico will still pay for border wallJudge orders Stormy Daniels to pay nearly $300,000 in legal fees to Trump's attorneys in defamation case

Wednesday:

Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prisonTrump dismisses Russia contacts as 'peanut stuff' after denialsNikki Haley: Trump's 'unpredictable' behavior advantageous at UNTrump seizes on France attack to push border wall

Thursday:

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina pleads guilty to engaging in conspiracy against USTrump says he never told Michael Cohen to break the lawPelosi's meme-tastic coat so popular it will be re-issued

Friday:

Trump inaugural committee under criminal investigation: sourcesCohen says Trump knew hush payments were wrongChristie takes himself out of running for White House chief of staffTrump keeps everyone guessing over shutdownHatch says he regrets his 'I don't care' comment about Trump allegationsTrump names Mulvaney 'acting' chief of staff