The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here:


The Hill's 12:30 Report: FBI expands Clinton probe | Chris Hughes selling TNR | Trump joining Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK: Welcome back from the holidays, Senate! Lawmakers will gather Tuesday night to hear President Obama's last State of the Union address (at 9 p.m. EST), a day before Republicans decamp to Baltimore for their annual policy retreat. Here's what else is happening on Capitol Hill:

NORTH KOREA: The House will vote this week to toughen sanctions against North Korea. Why: The country claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb last week. 

AUDIT THE FED: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report Congress moving to end US involvement in Yemen Congress races to finish .2 trillion funding bill MORE (R-Ky.) is getting his long-awaited vote to audit the Federal Reserve. But wait: The bill could face an uphill battle to get the 60 votes needed. 

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS: Two measures to combat President Obama's environmental regulations are scheduled for a vote in the House this week. One bill involves mining. The other involves redefining waterways. 

More from The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney

BREAKING THIS MORNING -- THE NEW REPUBLIC UP FOR SALE: New Republic owner Chris Hughes is selling the publication after a tumultuous year. Background: Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, bought TNR in 2012 when he was 28 years old. In December 2014, Hughes announced the century-old liberal magazine would be restructured as a "vertically integrated digital media company." Two editors were forced out, causing an uproar that resulted in a mass resignation of much of the publication's senior staff.

EXCERPTS OF MEMO HUGHES SENT TO TNR STAFF: "I bought this company nearly four years ago to ensure its survival and give it the financial runway to experiment with new business models in a time of immense change in media. After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic. Full memo on Medium (!): 

JUST RELEASED - TRUMP’S LEAD GROWS IN NH: Via The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE has increased his lead over the Republican presidential field in New Hampshire according to the new Monmouth poll, where he holds a more than two-to-one advantage over the next closest contender.

Trump is at 32 percent (up from 26 in November), Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian The case for a new branch of the military: United States Space Force The problem with hindsight MORE (R-Texas) at 14 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) 14 percent, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio: McCabe 'should've been allowed to finish through the weekend' For Tillerson, bucking Trump became a job-killer At least six dead after pedestrian bridge collapses on cars in Florida MORE (R-Fla.) 12 percent, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) 8 percent. Full poll: 

Happy Monday -- and a big hug to the Redskins fans that are mourning the stinging loss to the Green Bay Packers last night. I'm Cate Martel with what you missed this morning -- and what's on tap for the rest of the day. Send your tips, comments and complaints to and follow along by liking my shiny new Facebook page! :) 

DEVELOPING NOW -- FBI EXPANDS HILLARY'S EMAIL PROBE: Via Fox News's Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne, the FBI investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump adds to legal team after attacks on Mueller Press: You can’t believe a word he says Feehery: March Madness MORE's use of private email as secretary of State has expanded into whether work involving both the Clinton Foundation and State Department might have violated public corruption laws.

RIGHT ON SCHEDULE -- HAGAN JOINS LOBBY SHOP: Via The Hill's Megan Wilson, with another year to go in the "cooling period" senators are required to take before they can advocate their congressional colleagues, former Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina Democrats can win North Carolina just like Jimmy Carter did in 1976 MORE (D-N.C.) is joining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, Washington's largest lobby shop (by revenue). Hagan will serve as a senior policy consultant and will become a registered lobbyist. 

THE CRAZY STORY EVERYONE WAS TALKING ABOUT THIS WEEKEND: Actor Sean Penn secretly visited the notorious Mexican drug kingpin and escaped fugitive Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán and released a first-hand account in Rolling Stone. Hint: It involved handing over electronic devices, several airplane rides with technology to block ground radar, convoys of armored SUVs traveling over 100 mph and an oasis in the jungle. Oh, and lots of tequila! It's wild -- you should definitely read. 

Fallout: Mexican government sources told ABC news that Sean Penn is under investigation for the interview.

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVIN': Hillary Clinton sat down with The Boston Globe's editorial board Sunday to discuss President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonCourt questions greens’ challenge to EPA chemical rule delay The only way out of this mess Federal court tosses out Obama-era rule requiring financial advisers to act in customers' best interests MORE's infidelity. "This is something that the Republicans have been trying to turn into political gold for a long time. And it hasn't worked," Hillary Clinton said. Full interview: 

POWER HEADLINE -- "WITH GREAT COOKIES COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY": The U.S. Chamber of Commerce interviewed the founder of D.C.-famous Captain Cookie (hat tip to The Hill's Sylvan Lane). 



A GLIPMSE INTO WHY I LOVE THE NH PRIMARY SO MUCH: The Huffington Post's Scott Conroy has a fascinating (and very accurate!) short documentary about what it's like to cover the New Hampshire primary. It's a crazy, fun ride. 

UNION LEADER IS OUT: The New Hampshire Union Leader has been yanked from the Feb. 6 presidential debate, and Donald Trump is taking credit. "[Their feud with me] is really unfair and a conflict for all the other candidates," Trump said. "I said it should not be allowed and ABC agreed." An ABC spokeswoman told The Hill that the newspaper played a "minor role" in the debate.

Flashback: WMUR, New Hampshire's only TV affiliate, was pulled from the ABC Democratic debate in December. 



Bloomberg's Joseph Weisenthal
Wow. Totally didn't know that [Hillary] Clinton was once a Walmart board member.

CBS's Sopan Deb
A Trump supporter just asked me at Reno event if I was taking pictures for ISIS. When I looked shocked, he said, "yeah, I'm talking to you."

CNN's Dylan Byers
Lesson of [TNR owner] Chris Hughes (& husband Sean
Eldridge) is pretty simple: Money & Optimism don't buy everything... In fact, can be quite destructive. 

BuzzFeed’s Jim Waterson
Daily Telegraph journalists are wondering why management secretly placed motion sensors on their desks. 



1 p.m. EST: Sidewire is interviewing three former White House speechwriters to preview the State of the Union, including Jon Favreau (President Obama), Mary Kate Cary (President George H.W. Bush) and Jeff Shesol (President Clinton). 
Live stream: 

5:30 p.m. EST: Politico cocktails and conversation events with House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans open to targeted China tariffs despite steel flap GOP pushes for 'phase two' of tax cuts Lighthizer, Ross set to talk trade on Capitol Hill next week MORE (R-Texas). 
Live stream: 

6:30 p.m. EST: The House votes including on sanctions against North Korea and a bill to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination of unpaid interns. 
Full list here: 

8:30 p.m. EST: College football national championship with Clemson University and the University of Alabama. 



8 p.m. EST: Fusion is hosting "The Iowa Brown and Black Forum" in Des Moines, Iowa, with presidential candidates Hillary ClintonMartin O'Malley and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSenate tees up Yemen vote for Tuesday Sanders supporters cancel Clinton protest Congress moving to end US involvement in Yemen MORE (I-Vt.). Live stream: 

11:35 p.m. EST: Donald Trump joins Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

9 p.m. EST tomorrow: President Obama's last-evah State of the Union address. Obama promises it'll be unconventional. Live stream: 

6 a.m. EST tomorrow: "The Today Show" will broadcast live from inside the White House. It will include interviews with President Obama and Vice President Biden and will have a behind-the-scenes look at the White House. What a way to soften people up ahead of Obama's last State of the Union address that night! More info: 



Today is National Hot Toddy Day (ooh la la!)

WHOA, THIS IS MCDONALDS?!: Via CNN, in efforts to be "modern and progressive," the world's first McDonald's Next has opened in Hong Kong. Think: quinoa. You at least need to see the photo: 

GET IT WHILE IT'S HOT: The Playboy Mansion is for sale. But wait, it may still come with Hugh Hefner... 

THAT'S UBER GOOD NEWS: Uber has lowered its prices for January, including 10 percent in Washington, D.C.

And with that, here's a list of the winners of the 2016 Golden Globes.


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: