White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

Joe Biden says he would consider imposing personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Students from 16 universities now have the chance to participate in education sessions, trading competitions, and NFT creation workshops with the debut of the FTX University Program.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Boris Johnson to face police interview over “partygate.”

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

Despite the cold winter, President Biden still likes his ice cream. He made a stop yesterday at Jeni’s Ice Creams and came out of the store holding a chocolate ice cream cone. The president had two scoops – light-colored flavor on the bottom, darker ice cream on top. 

In the meantime, on Capitol Hill, Nancy Pelosi has announced she’ll run for re-election and seek a 19th term in Congress.

ON THIS DAY

JANUARY 26, 1998

President Bill Clinton at a White House press conference:

“I want to say one thing to the American people… I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

In other news…

Soprano Nevena Bridgen shares her opulent talent in a world-premier of her music video for Puccini’s “Vissi D’arte.” Bridgen’s artistic vision honors 122 years since Puccini’s Tosca premiered.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Joe Biden says he would consider imposing personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine. The US President has told reporters he would hold Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, responsible for any invasion of Ukraine.

Biden confirmed that he told Putin early on that if he were to move into Ukraine, there would be “severe consequences” that include “significant economic sanctions,” as well as “I’d feel obliged to beef up our presence — NATO’s presence – on the eastern front: Poland, Romania, et cetera.”

Biden said that only Putin knows if he will move into Ukraine or not. “I do not think even his people know for certain what he’s going to do.”

Biden compared predicting Putin’s next move to reading tea leaves. “It’s a little bit like reading tea leaves. Ordinarily, if it were a different leader — the fact that he continues to build forces along Ukraine’s border from Belarus all the way around — you’d say, “Well, that means that he is looking like he’s going to do something.”

Whatever happens, Biden is certain it will all come down to Putin’s decision. 

Russia has amassed an increasing number of troops in Russia and Belarus near the border with Ukraine. “We have seen a consistent accumulation of combat power by the Russians in the western part of their country around the borders with Ukraine and Belarus,” Pentagon spokesman Kirby confirmed. “We’ve seen no signs of de-escalation… What we’re hoping for is a de-escalation. And one of the best ways they could de-escalate the tension would be to remove some of those forces away from Ukraine.”

During a summit in Geneva last year, Biden said that he would hope for a more predictable relationship with Putin. The president was asked yesterday during the gaggle if that is something he still wants.  We’ll see.  “Stay tuned,” as they say.

DIGITAL ASSETS

IMF wants El Salvador, the first country to adopt crypto, to remove Bitcoin as legal tender. President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele is yet to respond.

Mike Novogratz of $GLXY  has a word of advice to the whole crypto space. “2022 is all about building,” he says. 

The FTX unveiled their FTX University Program NFT collection. Students from 16 universities nationwide can now participate in education sessions, trading competitions, and NFT creation workshops On campus organizations can sign up here.

FTX US has raised $400 million from investors, reaching a valuation of $8 billion. The funds will be used to launch new business lines and explore strategic investments and acquisitions.

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$37,816.48

Ether (ETH):$2,513.19

SOL:$96.57

LUNA: $63.45

Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday, “I will eat a happy meal on TV if Mcdonald’s accepts Dogecoin.” McDonalds quickly responded, “Only if Tesla accepts grimacecoin”

And just like that, nearly 10 grimacecoins were created on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) network alone. 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Across the pond, in the UK, Boris Johnson is facing police interviews over parties at No. 10 he attended during the lockdown. The promise has been that the Sue Gray report will be published independently from the police investigation and is expected to come out as early as today. The word is Sue Gray got in possession of the party photographs. D-Day for Boris? Undecided Conservative Members of the Parliament are waiting for the report finding before they decide to hand in their letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister. “He is definitely a ‘party’ leader,” a Conservative MP told Good Morning DC. The prime minister faces parliament and the country at Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons.  

Speaking about the forthcoming Sue Gray report on GB News, MP Bridget Phillipson said, “The government shouldn’t be hiding behind Sue Gray. The Prime Minister needs to take some responsibility. He’s lied and lied and lied again. And to add to that, we’ve got this sorry, spectacle of senior ministers in a parade every day coming up with an ever more ridiculous litany of excuses to justify the fact that when schools were closed to most children when they were told, when our key workers were working in intensive care, in supermarkets, keeping our country going. The Prime Minister and No. 10 were organizing boozy parties with a suitcase full of booze being wheeled in, and they’re just taking the British people for fools if they think that we can’t see that. We don’t need Sue Gray to tell us what is absolutely plain and right in front of us.”

This morning, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called Russia‘s claim that NATO is responsible for escalating tensions in Eastern Europe “ludicrous.”  She went on to say, “This is an attempt by Russia to undermine Ukrainian democracy, all part of a playbook which has been used before.”

Russian authorities have decided to add Aleksey Navalny and eight of his allies to the registry of so-called “extremists and terrorists.”

And that’s a wrap for this Wednesday morning, January 26, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...