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Empty desks in the Trump White House?

'Inside Politics' Full Forecast
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Story highlights

  • The rumor mill is in full swing about Hillary Clinton and a NYC mayoral bid
  • Draining the swamp? Goldman Sachs alumni get starring roles in Trump's administration

Washington (CNN)Staffing shortages in a Trump White House? A Supreme Court "nuclear option." And some curious polling in New York City.

It's all part of this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get tomorrow's headlines today.

1) Trump's lean staffing may become issue

    Donald Trump bragged throughout the presidential campaign that his team was small but effective. It is a lean approach some see him bringing to the White House as well, at least early on. And that is raising some concern.
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    For example, the President-elect has filled the top jobs on his National Security Council staff. But Julie Pace of the Associated Press reports that many of the NSC staff jobs remain vacant just days before the inauguration.
    "The big-name jobs are obviously filled, but at the National Security Council and some of the other White House agencies people are expecting a lot of empty desks when he moves in on Friday," Pace said Sunday on CNN's "Inside Politics."
    "Again, this isn't something that the public will always see. But these behind-the-scenes jobs at the White House are really crucial to keeping operations running, especially in crisis moments. "

    2) Republicans may go nuclear on Supreme Court pick

    Trump is promising to send his Supreme Court pick to Congress in the first few weeks, and Republicans wants to fast-track the confirmation process.
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    But Democrats are still angry that the GOP refused to even give a hearing to President Obama's choice for the vacancy left by the death last year of Justice Antonin Scalia. And there is talk of exacting a bit of revenge once Trump settles on a pick.
    So Senate Republicans are not ruling out the "nuclear option" -- DC parlance for changing the rules so that it takes only 51 votes for confirmation instead of 60. CNN's Manu Raju says it is not the GOP's first choice, but it is on the table.
    "Democrats, when they changed the rules in 2013, they left in place the rule for filibustering Supreme Court nominees, and at the time Republicans criticized him relentlessly. But now that it's happened, Republicans say it could happen once again, " Raju said. "I talked to Senate Republican leaders, including Senator John Cornyn, who said that first they will try to pick off moderate Dems, red state Dems.
    "And if those don't decide to vote for Donald Trump's nominee, wait for the nuclear option to be a possibility. So watch for that fight to really shape up because they will do whatever it takes to get Donald Trump his nominee."

    3) Goldman Sachs makes a comeback in Trumpland

    As a candidate, Donald Trump said rival Ted Cruz was beholden to Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street investment firm was also a foil in Trump's rhetoric suggesting the system was rigged and that big banks and career politicians worked hand in hand to help themselves and hurt the little guy.
    But that was then. Now Lisa Lerer of the Associated Press says that Goldman alumni are getting starring roles in the Trump administration.
    "He's tapped six advisers from the bank. His aides say that there's no hypocrisy here, that ... working for the bank and the actual bank are different things," Lerer said. "We'll have to see if voters in Congress agree. Former Goldman Sachs partner Steve Mnuchin will be getting his confirmation hearing on Thursday, so we'll see whether this comes up."

    4) Trump 2020?

    Donald Trump doesn't begin his first term until Friday, but may already be getting started on his bid to win a second.
    A Trump campaign committee was announced this past week. It will be located at Trump Tower in New York and led by Michael Glassner, who was a senior staffer in the 2016 Trump campaign.
    The announcement has piqued the curiosity of Republicans in Washington.
    Is it just an early start on the 2020 race? Another competing power center in Trumpland? Or a place to employ 2016 Trump loyalists who aren't welcome in Washington?
    Those are among the questions being asked. The one thing that is certain: Trump operates at his own rhythm.

    5) Polling on NYC mayoral race

    Hillary Clinton loyalists say she is done running for public office.
    But some are wondering about whether Clinton might consider running for mayor of New York City.
    Democrat Bill de Blasio is the incumbent, and again, Team Clinton says she isn't interested.
    But that hasn't stopped pollsters from testing the idea, says Mary Katharine Ham of The Federalist.
    "I heard from two people in New York yesterday that they were polled about mayoral issues in New York City and that one of the questions was a head-to-head with de Blasio and Hillary Clinton," Ham said. "Hillary Clinton, should she want to do that, should have some data in the near future."