Happening this Friday: We’re now 10 days from the Iowa caucuses… President Biden, in Valley Forge, Pa., delivers a campaign speech at 3:15 pm ET marking tomorrow’s anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack… NBC’s Dasha Burns and the Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel interview Nikki Haley… Ron DeSantis intensifiesattacks on Haley… And Donald Trump campaigns in Iowa, hitting Sioux Center and Mason City.
But FIRST… President Joe Biden is taking direct aim at Donald Trump over the former president’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
And over the issue of democracy.
“Biden will deliver his first campaign speech of the year — at only the third public campaign event since he announced his re-election bid in April — on Friday near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where George Washington and the Continental Army endured a brutal winter during the fight for American independence,” NBC’s Mike Memoli writes, previewing Biden’s speech.
More from Memoli: “Invoking Washington’s words about the sacrifices Colonial soldiers were making, Biden plans to say the continued fight for democracy remains a ‘sacred cause,’ a senior adviser said. The speech is intended to mark the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Biden will call on Americans to join him in rejecting political violence and attacks on fundamental freedoms, the adviser said.”
Added the adviser: “When there are major events that happen in this country’s history, the next national election becomes a moment when the people of that country render a judgment about it. We believe that in 2024, [Jan. 6] will be that moment.”
The challenge for Biden, however, is that perceptions of Jan. 6 — three years later — break down largely among partisan lines.
Overall, 55% of American adults say that the events of Jan. 6 should never be forgotten, including 86% of Democrats, 53% of independents, but just 24% of Republicans, according to a recent national Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.
And the poll finds 53% of Americans believing that Trump bears responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack — down from 60% who said this in 2021.
That includes 86% of Democrats, 56% of independents, but just 14% of Republicans.
Then again, as NBC’s Chuck Todd writes in his latest column, the best attacks against Trump are the ones directly aimed at the former president.
Headline of the day:
The number of the day is … $7.8 million
That’s how much money former President Donald Trump’s businesses received from foreign governments in two years of his presidency, according to a report Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released on Thursday.
The report details payments from 20 foreign governments, including $5.5 million from China, NBC’s Rebecca Shabad, Ryan Nobles and Rebecca Kaplan report.
Maryland Rep. Jaime Raskin, the top Democrat on the committee, said the payments over the two-year span are “almost certainly only a fraction of Trump’s harvest of unlawful foreign state money, but this figure in itself is a scandal and a decisive spur to action.”
Eyes on November: DeSantis’ closing argument in Iowa
In a joint interview with NBC News and the Des Moines Register, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the case for why he should be the GOP nominee over former President Donald Trump.
“Practically speaking, Republican voters just have to look at this and say, ‘Okay, do we want the election to be about the issues that the American people are facing? Do we want to be able to hold Biden and the Democrats’ feet to the fire for their failures and offer a way to a better future for Americans? Or do we want the election to be about Donald Trump’s conduct, about January 6th, about criminal cases and all this?’” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also took aim at former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is in a close fight with the Florida governor for second place in Iowa, per recent polling.
“She’s the darling of the Never-Trumpers,” DeSantis said about Haley, before blasting her for not ruling out serving as Trump’s vice president.
“When she’s asked, ‘Okay, will you just categorically put this to bed and say you will not accept the vice-presidential nomination?’ She will not answer that question,” DeSantis said.
Still, while Haley has prioritized events and ad dollars in Iowa and New Hampshire, with a few stops in her home state of South Carolina, too, DeSantis has trained his entire campaign on Iowa. And he struggled to chart a path to victory after the Hawkeye State’s Jan. 15 caucuses.
“You’re going to see this is very dynamic. You’re going to see it’s a long process. And we’re going to be able to win. So stay tuned,” DeSantis said when asked to name a state he could win in the primary race.
The interview took place just hours after reports emerged of a shooting at a high school in Perry, Iowa. DeSantis expressed his desire to improve school safety, but he refused to commit to any gun policy reforms at the national level.
“[The] federal government’s probably not going to be leading that effort. I think it is more of a local and state issue,” he said.
In other campaign news …
Trump vs. Haley: NBC’s Allan Smith, Henry J. Gomez and Matt Dixon examine a new dynamic emerging in the GOP presidential primary: the Trump’s campaign’s decision to hammer Haley, instead of DeSantis.
The value of endorsements: Trump has built a vast network of elected officials who have publicly endorsed his campaign, seeking to paint himself as “the inevitable victor,” Tthe New York Times reports.
Eyes on the vice presidency: South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters on Thursday that she would consider being Trump’s vice president if he asked her to do it.
Trump trials: Trump will head to federal court next week to attend a hearing about whether he’s immune from charges that he sought to illegally overturn the 2020 election. Meanwhile, the former president’s legal team is trying to delay his federal election interference trial, NBC’s Ryan J. Reilly reports,.
Trump meeting: Teamsters union president Sean M. O’Brien met with Trump this week as the union weighs endorsing in the presidential race, per the New York Times.
PAC play: A PAC tied to DeSantis contributed nearly $100,000 to more than a dozen Iowa legislators who endorsed DeSantis’ presidential campaign, NBC’s Alex Tabet and Alec Hernández report.
He’s running: Former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who has been outspoken about the violence and vitriol he faced during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, announced Friday that he is running for Congress in Maryland’s 3rd District.
Another heads for the exits: Missouri GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer announced Thursday that he will not be running for re-election, the latest member of Congress to forgo another term.
ICYMI: What ELSE is happening in the world:
State government buildings received bomb threats on Thursday for the second day in a row.
A group of House Democrats are calling on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himselffrom the case involving Trump’s position on Colorado’s GOP primary ballot.