The TAKE with Rick Klein
Roy Moore may yet save a precious Senate seat for a Republican Party that’s back on his bandwagon.
While he’s at it, he might be salvaging another political career: Steve Bannon’s.
Bannon’s appearance with Moore Tuesday in Alabama is a reminder that he was with him from the beginning and hasn’t strayed.
President Donald Trump’s position was a bit more vague before he was publicly for Moore.
Bannon has been a Moore champion all along, a potential Exhibit A in the case he’s building against virtually all incumbent Republican senators.
If Moore had lost, or if he still goes on to lose, in a spectacularly lonely fashion, national Republicans from Mitch McConnell on down would be quick to write Bannon off.
So too could the donors he needs to make himself more of a player than a Breitbart-wielding, former aide, — even one who still has the president’s phone number.
At this point, whatever the outcome next Tuesday, the forces of Bannonism remain to be reckoned with – whether or not the GOP ultimately regrets rallying behind Moore.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
When it comes to negotiations, we know President Trump likes deadlines and threats.
From health care subsidies to DACA protections, during his first year in office the president has often employed two these negotiating tactics: setting a drop-dead date or promising a controversial future move, as a way to try to spur others to action.
The jury is still out on whether the strategies are working.
But perhaps it makes sense to look at his announcement, expected today, that the U.S. will initiate the process of relocating its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as example of this sort of method.
While a number of relevant world leaders have argued against this aggressive move and said it will only hurt any peace talks, perhaps Trump sees the decision as a worthwhile, albeit hugely risky, bit of brinksmanship.
Sources close to the White House say the president does not plan to outline a specific timeline for constructing a new embassy, but will continue to sign these six-month waivers, as other presidents have done, to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for now.
THE TIP with Tara Palmeri
It was an icy greeting for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
As he kicked off his European tour in Brussels on Tuesday, European Union foreign policy chief Federico Mogherini stood next to him and openly disagreed with him. She said the EU opposes the U.S.’ decertification of the Iran nuclear deal.
On top of taking flak from allies, Tillerson comes to the table needing to reassure those leaders he speaks for the president, amidst reports to tension between the secretary of state and Trump.
Tillerson rallied U.S. diplomats in Belgium at the embassy on Tuesday, telling them that even though they still don’t have an ambassador to Belgium or the EU: “The State Department is not missing a beat.”
He will face the music again today, with another day of round of meetings on key security issues at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He had meetings with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
The White House is expected to announce whether the U.S. embassy in Israel will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Trump gives a statement at 1 p.m. ET today at the Diplomatic Reception room in the White House.
The House of Representatives will vote on the national concealed carry reciprocity measure to allow concealed carry across state lines – it’s one of the first measures taken up by Congress since the Las Vegas shooting. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on firearm accessory regulation, with witnesses from the ATF, FBI and DoD, plus a Las Vegas shooting survivor at 10 a.m. ET.
Donald Trump Jr. is expected to appear for a closed door interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Congressional investigators will have a chance to question Trump Jr. about his June 2016 meeting with campaign officials and a Russian lawyer.
The Council on Foreign Relations holds a symposium on “hacked elections” and online threats to democracy at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will continue NATO meetings in Brussels, Belgium before heading to Vienna, Austria at 10 a.m. ET.
Time magazine announces its “2017 Person of the Year” today at 7 a.m. ET. President Trump has made the shortlist, along with special counsel Robert Mueller, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. ET.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I think they’re afraid that I’m going to take Alabama values to Washington. And I want to tell you, I can’t wait.” — Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said Tuesday during his rally in Fairhope, Alabama of some Republican establishment’s concerns about his candidacy.
NEED TO READ
Trump expected to declare Jerusalem capital of Israel. In what would be a momentous shift of United States foreign policy in the Middle East, President Donald Trump is expected to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and initiate the process of relocating the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv, two U.S. officials and a source close to the White House confirmed to ABC News. (Justin Fishel and Jordyn Phelps) http://abcn.ws/2jiiSe1
Bannon slams Romney, Flake at Alabama rally for Roy Moore. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon appeared alongside embattled GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore Tuesday night in Fairhope, Alabama, just a week ahead of the election. Bannon also attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who donated $100 to Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones earlier Tuesday. (John Verhovek) http://abcn.ws/2AwIH3B
US embassies beefing up security in Middle East ahead of Trump’s expected announcement on Jerusalem. Several teams of U.S. Marines will reinforce security at some American embassies in the Middle East, according to U.S. officials, in advance of President Donald Trump’s expected announcement that the U.S. embassy in Israel is moving to Jerusalem. (Luis Martinez) http://abcn.ws/2BC23S3
Rep. Conyers announces he’s retiring, endorses son to fill seat. Currently facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Conyers announced his retirement Tuesday. (Karma Allen, Veronica Stracqualursi and Alisa Wiersema) http://abcn.ws/2imvIXN
White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, says no ‘strategy’ to claim president can’t ‘obstruct justice’. The controversial legal defense offered by President Trump’s personal attorney John Dowd Monday that the president cannot be guilty of obstructions of justice because he is the nation’s top law enforcement official has come under scrutiny from an unlikely source: Trump’s lawyer inside the White House. (Katherine Faulders and Jordyn Phelps) http://abcn.ws/2AyeHCn
Yes, a president can obstruct justice, legal experts say, but cite limits to possible charges. Legal scholars are pushing back against a claim by one of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers that his client “cannot obstruct justice” because of his role as the country’s “chief law enforcement officer.” (Lauren Pearle) http://abcn.ws/2koXeIt
Nevada Democrat accused of sexual misconduct says he won’t resign. Amid allegations of sexual harassment, embattled freshman Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen vowed he will not resign from his post, despite calls from Democratic leaders that he step aside. (John Parkinson and Mary Bruce) http://abcn.ws/2BNLgMY
Mueller issues subpoena to Deutsche Bank in Russia probe. Special counsel Robert Mueller has issued a subpoena to Germany’s largest bank in a possible sign the investigation into Russian election interference may be expanding toward President Trump’s finances. (Aaron Katersky) http://abcn.ws/2AZNdsl
No ‘wins on the board yet’ for US foreign policy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told U.S. diplomats in Brussels Tuesday that they have yet to achieve foreign policy “wins” since he took over the State Department nearly a year ago. (Tara Palmeri) http://abcn.ws/2AtQtv5
Politico reports that aides of Rep. Ruben Kihuen are seeking new jobs after accusations of sexual harassment against the Nevada Congressman. http://politi.co/2jg8u6y
Trump’s former data guru, Alexander Nix, who offered to help Julian Assange distribute Hillary Clinton’s emails, is set to testify before the House intelligence committee on Dec. 14, according to The Daily Beast. http://thebea.st/2iXMSz9
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.