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

THE WHITE HOUSE

The White House is preparing a set of economic sanctions if Russia further invades Ukraine.

DIGITAL ASSETS

Eric Trump warns the public about “TrumpCoin.”  NFTs expose the gray areas in law where yet another artist faces trademark legal action from Hermes in the wake of his “MetaBirken” digital bag collection.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

 In the UK, Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has announced that the Met police is investigating “a number of events,” aka parties, that took place at No.10 Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown. 

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

Yesterday, President Joe Biden called a FOX journalist a “stupid son of a bitch” over a question on inflation. A video is worth a thousand words, but not one of the words was presidential. 

BREAKING THIS MORNING: In the UK, Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has announced that the Met police is investigating “a number of events,” aka parties, that took place at No.10 Downing Street and Whitehall during lockdown. 

WHY IT MATTERS? Police investigation along with the Sue Gray report will shed light on whether the Prime Minister, the person who implemented lockdown rules to protect the nation from the pandemic, was able to follow his own guidance.

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

The White House is preparing a set of economic sanctions if Russia further invades Ukraine.

VP Harris shared her thinking about the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. She said that she is getting regular briefings from her national security team. “The President, I, and other members of our administration have been in active discussions with our allies and partners around the globe. In particular in Europe. And the bottom line is that we have been clear and consistent for quite some time, that we respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and we expect that Russia would do the same and any aggressive action taken by Vladimir Putin will be met with severe consequences,” said Kamala Harris.

“The ball is clearly in his [Putin’s] court. I can’t tell you what he’s gonna do. But we are prepared to take decisive action if he moves in an aggressive manner into Ukraine.”

DIGITAL ASSETS

Sam Bankman-Fried shared his thoughts on Solana, a rising blockchain network. Addressing some performance issues Solana had, the CEO of FTX said that despite all problems, Solana “still processed more transactions than all other major blockchains.” Sam’s outlook was optimistic. “Only by being ambitious can we make progress. And sometimes that means failing to hit our goals, but we still often end up further than if we’d never tried.” He added, “And there’s always tomorrow.”

A custom golf bag used by Albane Valenzuela, an FTX pro athlete, is up for auction with a starting price of $5000. Both Albane and Sam signed the gold bag. All the money from the auction will be split evenly between the FTX Foundation and Alexis for Autism. 

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$36,482.59

Ether (ETH):$2,434.66

SOL:$93.05

LUNA: $66.10

Eric Trump went to Twitter to warn the public against a cryptocurrency called “TrumpCoin.” 

“This has NOTHING to do with our family, we do not authorize the use, and we are in no way affiliated with this group. Legal action will be taken,” said Eric. 

Hermes has taken trademark legal action against Mason Rothschild, LA-based artist who has been creating and selling “MetaBirkins” NFTs. He sold one NFT in December last year for $42,000. In a statement on Instagram, Rothschild said that “Hermes’s claims are groundless,” and that under the First Amendment, he can “sell art depicting Birkin bags, just as it gave Andy Warhol the right to make and sell art depicting the Campbell’s soup cans.” 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Overnight, the Western alliance has tried to halt the descent into war between Ukraine and Russia.

Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that 8,500 US soldiers were on “heightened alert” for deployment to Eastern Europe amid an imminent attack by Russia. The 8,500 troops are based in the United States and would be part of the NATO Response Force, which NATO has not yet activated. “Again, I want to reinforce that as of now, the decision has been made to put these units on higher alert and higher alert only,” Pentagon’s Press Secretary Kirby said. “No decisions have been made to deploy any forces from the United States at this time.” 

In a secure video conference call with European leaders, Biden discussed a scenario of mobilizing the troops of NATO member states on the border with Russia from the Situation Room. NATO sent fighter jets to Eastern Europe, promising “severe costs” if Russia makes a military move in Ukraine. The UK and the US have announced that they are pulling some diplomats and their families out of Ukraine.

A reason for concern? Both Russia and the US have nuclear weapons and can quickly escalate the meaning of “severe costs.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Russia that invading Ukraine would be “disastrous” and a “painful, violent and bloody business.”

Trump commented on Ukraine. “What’s happening with Russia and Ukraine would never have happened under the Trump Administration. Not even a possibility!”

Across the pond, the new revelations about PM Boris Johnson came out. Boris Johnson held a lockdown birthday party in June 2020, inside Downing Street. During the peak of the first lockdown, when all social gatherings were banned, the Prime Minister and his posse enjoyed drinks, cake, and party food from Marks & Spencer. They also sang Happy Birthday to the Prime Minister. Carrie’s friend, Interior designer Lulu Lytle, was present among other guests, as many as 30 staff from Downing Street No.10.

On June 13th, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her birthday without any family members present. That could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, aka the premiership of Boris Johnson. 

Some good news for travelers to the UK: All Covid testing requirements for vaccinated individuals arriving into the UK are no longer required, the government has confirmed. 

And that’s a wrap for this Tuesday morning, January 25, 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...