Opinion writer

* Melanie Zanona and Sarah Ferris report that the president is getting pushback from some of his most loyal supporters:

A core group of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus is urging President Donald Trump against the explosive step of declaring a national emergency to build his wall.

Multiple Republicans in the conservative group have privately raised their concerns with the Trump administration, fearing it would lead to a years-long legal standoff that Democrats could win while setting a dangerous precedent for the presidency, according to more than a dozen lawmakers and GOP aides. They want Trump to hold out for a deal with Democrats, regardless of how long the partial government shutdown drags on.

Republicans were saying things like, “My god, what if a future Democratic president declares a national emergency to deal with climate change?” Yes, how awful that would be.

* John Wagner, Erica Werner, and Josh Dawsey report that the pressure seems to be working:

President Trump on Friday threw cold water on the idea of immediately declaring a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, reversing days of signals that he might soon declare the emergency amid a protracted standoff with Democrats over a partial shutdown of the federal government. 

"What we're not looking to do right now is national emergency," he said Friday afternoon, surrounded by law enforcement officials at a White House roundtable. “I’m not going to do it so fast.”

The president has defiantly said for days he might declare a national emergency to expedite construction of the wall — and his administration has asked agencies to begin preparations. 

But he has gotten sharp pushback, even from Republicans, at the notion of declaring such an emergency. His lawyers have privately warned that he could be on shaky footing with such a move, according to people familiar with the discussions.

We need to wait for the reaction from Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to find out what he’ll actually end up doing.

* Paul Duggan talks to some of the furloughed federal workers who are trying to figure out how to make ends meet without a paycheck.

* John Harwood looks at the debate about taxes that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has sparked in the Democratic Party, including an interview with Elizabeth Warren, who declines to say whether she agrees with Ocasio-Cortez’s high end rates.

* Christopher Hooks and Mike Spies report that the NRA appears to have illegally coordinated its activities in 2016 with three Republican Senate campaigns in key races.

* Alex Ward reports that Democrats are creating a new subcommittee in the Foreign Affairs Committee that could provide some needed oversight of Trump's foreign entanglements.

* E.J. Dionne argues that the shutdown crisis is now all on Mitch McConnell, and it’s up to him to overcome the president’s lunacy.

* Mehdi Hasan offers the speech Mike Pompeo could have given in Cairo had he been willing to tell the truth.

* Sen. Tim Scott calls out his own party for its silence when racism crops up in its midst.

* Kalena Thomhave reports that regardless of whether the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion rights are already getting weaker and weaker.

* Jill Filipovic looks at how women are redefining power in Washington.

* Dahlia Lithwick looks at how the shutdown is affecting one national park.

* And John Stoehr argues that Republicans are quite happy to support abuse of presidential power, as long as it’s the right president.