The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking - Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn | Anticipation builds for Yates testimony | 43 Dems who could run against Trump | John Oliver crashes FCC website | Senators to watch in health fight | Appeals court looks at Trump travel ban | Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' gets second season

BREAKING -- WHY MIKE FLYNN SHOULDN'T EXPECT AN INVITE TO OBAMA'S HOUSEWARMING: Via NBC's Kristen Welker, Peter Alexander, Dafna Linzer and Ken Dilanian, during a meeting last November, former President Obama warned President Trump not to hire Mike Flynn as his national security adviser. "A senior Trump administration official acknowledged Monday that Obama raised the issue of Flynn, saying the former president made clear he was 'not a fan of Michael Flynn.' Another official said Obama's remark seemed like it was made in jest."

Why this timing is important: Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is testifying about Flynn's Russia contacts at 2:30 p.m. Livestream

Keep this link open during the hearing: Here's a live blog of updates and what they mean:

It's Monday. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to and on Facebook.

THE BIG NEWS TO WATCH TODAY -- I IMAGINE THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES AS A MOSH PIT WITH LOTS OF YELLING: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired after her refusal to defend the president's controversial immigration executive order, is expected to give her account of the warnings she gave to the White House regarding former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

What to expect: CNN is reporting that Yates is expected to tell a Senate panel she strongly warned the White House about Flynn weeks before he was fired.

Trump weighs in with his usual attack -- fake! news!: Trump tweeted: "General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration -- but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that."

Trump then gives his own advice for the hearing: He tweeted: "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council."

CRASHING A WEBSITE IS THE NEW PRANK PHONE CALL: John Oliver brought down the Federal Communications Commission's website Sunday while skewering Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to scale back net neutrality rules. How he did it: After ripping the proposals, Oliver directed viewers to visit a website, which takes users directly to a page where they can file comments to the FCC on net neutrality. 

THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS, WELL... SENATE — IT'S YOUR PROBLEM NOW, SUCKAS: The House narrowly passed legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. But now Senate Republicans are expected to make significant changes to the American Health Care Act as they try to cobble together a proposal that could pass the upper chamber. Narrow path to victory: Republicans have 52 seats and thus can afford only two defections, allowing Vice President Pence to break a 50-50 tie. What else is going on in Congress this week:

Which senators to watch in the healthcare fight: Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Finance: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference House conservatives, Ryan inch closer toward spending deal MORE (R-Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Study: ObamaCare bills backed by Collins would lower premiums Right scrambles GOP budget strategy MORE (R-Maine), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him How four GOP senators guided a tax-bill victory behind the scenes MORE (R-Ohio).

What to expect in the healthcare battle: High procedural hurdles in the Senate that will likely force GOP negotiators to throw out key portions of the House legislation.

FAKE NEWS ALERT: A video showing a young girl telling President Trump he's a "disgrace" has gone viral on social media. Well, it's *not* real.

*COVERS EARS AND SCREAMS*: ...2020 talk is in full force, and the Democratic field could be the most crowded in decades. The 43 possible Dems:



The Daily Beast's Tim Mak
A hidden hand in the Trump-Russia drama owns the D.C. Ramen shop Toki Underground. No, seriously. 

MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald (What. A. Line.)
"I have never canvassed before, but I will f---ing crawl door to door to make sure you lose."



The House met pro forma this morning.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

2 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

5:30 p.m. EDT: Roll call votes in the Senate.

10:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding a confirmation hearing for John J. Sullivan to be deputy secretary of State. Info:



1:00 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily briefing. Livestream:

1:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin host Honor Flight veterans for an event. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired after her refusal to defend the president's controversial immigration executive order, is expected to give her account of the warnings she gave to the White House regarding former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. What to expect:

2:30 p.m. EDT: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia hears oral arguments concerning President Trump's travel ban. What to expect: Livestream:



Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day.

ANNOUNCED OVER THE WEEKEND -- THE SHOW YOU KEEP HEARING ABOUT: "13 Reasons Why," the controversial Netflix show about a girl who leaves behind tapes explaining her suicide, has been renewed for a second season. Preview from Selena Gomez:

Haven't heard of it?: Here's a brief summary of the show and the viral debate it started:

TRENDING -- SO MUCH GOING ON IN ONE PHOTO: At the MTV movie and TV awards, "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown met "Beauty and the Beast" star Emma Watson. The photo is adorable:

And because you read this far, here are alpacas with matching new haircuts:


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