President Donald Trump, seen on Jan. 5, 2018, and special...

President Donald Trump, seen on Jan. 5, 2018, and special counsel Robert Mueller, seen on June 21, 2017. Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Saul Loeb

Where’s the fireproofing?

After a near-fire, some Republicans in Congress agree with Democrats that it would be a good idea to have a fire extinguisher. But they’re in no hurry to get one.

Democrats say the question belongs on the front burner after it was revealed that President Donald Trump tried to fire Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but backed down after the White House counsel threatened to quit.

On the Sunday talk shows, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-sponsor of legislation that would protect Mueller from being fired without a legal basis, said he would be “glad to pass it tomorrow.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said it would certainly “not hurt to put that extra safeguard in place.”

But Graham saw no immediate threat.

“It’s pretty clear to me that everybody in the White House knows it would be the end of President Trump’s presidency if he fired Mr. Mueller,” he said.

Democrats have suggested adding job security for Mueller to the next spending bill — already complicated by a fight on immigration — but House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said legislation isn’t currently necessary. “Right now there’s not an issue,’ he said. See the story for Newsday by Laura Figueroa Hernandez and Scott Eidler.

Tweets from the sheets

More clips from Trump’s interview with British TV host Piers Morgan are out. Some highlights:

The president sometimes tweets while in bed. “Perhaps sometimes in bed, perhaps sometimes at breakfast or lunch or whatever, but generally speaking during the early morning, or during the evening I can do whatever.”

On feminism, “I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. I mean, I think that would be, maybe, going too far. I’m for women, I’m for men, I’m for everyone.” Also, women liked his support for a strong military as they often wanted to feel safe at home, he said.

Is he annoyed that Prince Harry’s fiancee, Meghan Markle, had referred to him as a “divisive misogynist?” Trump responded: “Well, I still hope they’re happy.”

Ice, ice, baby

Still more from the Morgan interview:

Trump, a skeptic about global warming, claimed the polar ice caps are bigger than ever. “The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records,” he said.

Actually, no. They’re not. Last March, the ice at both poles was the lowest ever recorded, according to NASA. At the end of the summer of 2017 in the Northern Hemisphere, arctic ice was the eighth-lowest since satellite measurements began in 1978 and 610,000 square miles below normal.

What could get icier again is Trump’s relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May. He said he would take a “tougher stand” in Brexit negotiations with the EU than she has.

Janison: Sleazy Street is 2-way

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have claim to the high ground on cases of sexual harassment and abuse in their ranks, as the latest cases that have come to light attest, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Casino magnate Steve Wynn quit as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee over the weekend after a Wall Street Journal report on an alleged pattern of forcing himself on female employees.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton — already embarrassed by her past association with Harvey Weinstein — is now trying to answer, without apologizing, for not firing her 2008 campaign’s faith adviser, as top aides had recommended, over repeated instances of harassment.

Trump’s Jay-Z problem

Bristling after learning of criticism from a rap legend, Trump tweeted Sunday morning: “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!”

Jay-Z was already aware of the jobs stats. His beef with Trump during an interview Saturday on CNN’s “Van Jones Show” was about the lack of respect, such as in Trump’s remarks about shithole countries.

“Everyone feels anger. After the anger, it’s really hurtful because he’s like looking down on a whole population of people,” Jay-Z said.

Trump’s tweet came minutes after a “Fox & Friends” report on the CNN interview. See the story for Newsday by Figueroa and Eidler.

Long division

Newsday’s Carol Polsky talked to voters in Rocky Point — often a bellwether in presidential elections — which went for Trump in 2016. The finding: Most Trump voters remain Trump supporters, and the divisiveness of national politics is playing out there as well.

“We try not to talk about it, we try to keep it civil,” said Trump supporter Dave Braun, 53, a manager at a hospital whose wife and daughter are his “polar opposites politically.”

Some Trump voters still with him also wish he’d stop the tweets.

What else is happening

  • The Brentwood mother of a 16-year-old girl who police say was beaten to death by MS-13 gang members was invited by the White House to sit in the audience as Trump gives his State of the Union address Tuesday.
  • Trump plans to use his first State of the Union speech to tout economic progress since he became president while reaching out to Democrats on such issues as rebuilding roads and bridges, The Associated Press reports.
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Washington Post that Trump should stay out of negotiations on immigration issues. “If he disappears, we still, I think, have a very good chance to pass things, as long as he doesn’t mess it all up, which could very well happen,” Schumer said.
  • White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said Trump supports release of a classified memo from House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that accuses the FBI of misconduct. The Justice Department and FBI have warned its release would be reckless unless they can review it first.
  • Ken Starr, who led the independent counsel investigation of President Bill Clinton, told ABC’s “This Week” that Trump has the power to fire Mueller, but it would be “unwise,” and Mueller should look at whether Trump lied to the public about wanting to fire the special counsel.
  • An upgrade to the refrigerators on Air Force One will cost almost $24 million. A requirement for the presidential aircraft is the ability to feed passengers and crew for weeks without resupplying, and the current units have been breaking down more often, the Air Force said.
NewsdayTV goes behind the scenes of the Gilgo Beach investigation, revealing the shocking findings in the year since the arrest of Rex Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports.

Unearthing a suspect: The Gilgo Beach killings NewsdayTV goes behind the scenes of the Gilgo Beach investigation, revealing the shocking findings in the year since the arrest of Rex Heuermann. NewsdayTV's Ken Buffa reports.


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