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 - Acting FBI chief contradicts White House on Comey | Senate Intel leaders hold surprise meeting with deputy AG | Comey replacement talk | Trump claims he came up with 'priming the pump' | WH launching voter fraud probe

BREAKING -- COME. ONNNN. YOU'RE GIVING US TRUST ISSUES: During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe directly contradicted a White House claim that the "rank and file" at the FBI had lost faith in recently fired Director James ComeyQuote: "Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day ... I can confidently tell you that the vast majority of [FBI] employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey," he said, calling it "not accurate" to say otherwise. http://bit.ly/2r4oqKQ

Livestream and live blog with updates from the roomhttp://bit.ly/2q94PtC

What else has come out of the hearing: McCabe vowed to lawmakers that he would not update the White House on the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. http://bit.ly/2qYfjPi

ALSO BREAKING -- THE PLOT THICKENS: Via The Hill's Katie Bo Williams, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee just abruptly stepped out of a long-scheduled hearing on worldwide threats for what appeared to be a hastily-scheduled meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinHow it went down: Rosenstein was seen walking into the committee's meeting space -- just moments before Burr unexpectedly handed off the gavel to Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonThis week: Trump delivers State of the Union amid immigration fight Ingraham: White House yanked immigration plan defense from show After shutdown surrender, why should progressives ever trust Chuck Schumer again? MORE (R-Ark.). He and Warner had a meeting "we can't push off," he told the panel, which includes FBI acting director Andrew McCabehttp://bit.ly/2qwfXUt

KEEP IN MIND -- ROSENSTEIN THREATENED TO RESIGN: Via The Washington Post's Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Sari Horwitz and Robert Costa late last night, Rod Rosenstein "threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation." Behind-the-scenes timeline of Trump's decision to fire Comey: http://wapo.st/2r5lQVB

It’s Thursday. Guys, I’m going to warn you — the news today is weird. Plus, D.C. had a depressing night in sports AND it’s a rainy day. 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 cmartel@thehill.com@CateMartel and on Facebook.

TALK OF THE MORNING — TIME’S ON TRUMP’S MIND: Time magazine’s Michael Scherer and Zeke Miller interviewed President Trump at the White House Monday. There’s lots of fascinating insight. It’s worth the read. Full Q&A: http://ti.me/2pnBT3X Feature piece: http://ti.me/2q6AsWk Tidbits:

Home improvements: Trump installed a 60-plus-inch flat screen television and an “enormous crystal chandelier” in the presidential dining room.

On foreign policy: “I’m getting As and A+s on foreign policy.”

On being president: “I just think it’s something that works for me, it feels very natural to me.” 

On TiVo: “Trump is focused on his TV. He watches the screen like a coach going over game tape, studying the opposition, plotting next week’s plays. ‘This is one of the great inventions of all time—TiVo,’ he says as he fast-forwards through the hearing.”

On healthcare: “In a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care.” Share your secret, please. 

‘UM, I INVENTED POST-IT NOTES!’: In an interview with The Economist, President Trump claimed that he invented the phrase “priming the pump,” a commonly used expression in economics. “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just... I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do,” Trump said. http://econ.st/2qvFNIj

This screenshot of the back and forth is amazing — and sums it up well: http://bit.ly/2qvQxWR 

Merriam-Webster trolls: “'Pump priming' has been used to refer to government investment expenditures since at least 1933.” http://bit.ly/2r5vR4X

More trolling: BREAKING: TRUMP ORDERS FBI TO PROVE HE INVENTED PHRASE 'PRIMING THE PUMP' (From The New York Post’s John Podhoretzhttp://bit.ly/2r5vwzd

HAPPENING LATER TODAY — ANNND, THERE IT IS: Via ABC’s Katherine Faulders and Alexander MallinPresident Trump is expected to sign an executive order today to investigate voter fraud. Flashback: “In the aftermath of the 2016 election, Trump claimed widespread voter fraud explained why former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE emerged with nearly 3 million more popular votes. To date, neither Trump nor his team has provided evidence to substantiate the claims, but they have promised an investigation.” http://abcn.ws/2q6Zkgt

SPOTTED — THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PICTURE I’VE EVER SEEN REALLY: The White House is hanging a map of the 2016 election results in the West Wing. Photo: http://bit.ly/2q6T2xt



TRUMP WHITE HOUSE IN CRISIS MODE: In Niall Stanage’s last “The Memo” column, “Cable news shows [are comparing this] to the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s that brought down President Richard Nixon. On Capitol Hill ... some prominent GOP lawmakers hitting Trump’s actions and others backing him up. ... The minority party also began to slow Senate proceedings to a crawl in protest of the president’s actions. And in the early evening, it emerged that the Senate Intelligence Committee had issued a subpoena for Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.” http://bit.ly/2pCVZTW

COMEY ON TRUMP: ‘YOU CRAY’ — I IMAGINE HIM GIVING THAT INTENSE ‘YA FEEL ME?!’ EYE CONTACT: Via The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, Michael S. Schmidt and Peter Baker, former FBI Director James Comey reportedly called President Trump "crazy" in March for suggesting former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Forget the Nunes memo — where's the transparency with Trump’s personal finances? Mark Levin: Clinton colluded with Russia, 'paid for a warrant' to surveil Carter Page MORE had wiretapped him. Comey also called the president “outside the realm of normal.” http://nyti.ms/2pCM1lb

COMEY’S REPLACEMENT — GET THE RUMOR MILL INTO GEAR: Via Bloomberg’s Jennifer JacobsPresident Trump is reportedly considering ex-Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) for the role of FBI director. How this would play: “Rogers is respected in foreign policy and intelligence communities and he would likely be well received by Republican leaders in Congress, but Democrats would likely regard him as too political a choice.” https://bloom.bg/2qvJf5m

COMEY’S GOODBYE LETTER: Former FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to agents and friends following his ousting. Excerpt: “I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed." Full letter: http://bit.ly/2qXF2Y4



New York Magazine’s Yashar (HAHA, wow he’s serious.)
This email that Steve Harvey sent to his staff...... http://bit.ly/2q5IfEf 

Republican (!) Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeRubio on push for paid family leave: ‘We still have to work on members of my own party’ National ad campaign pushes Congress to pass legislation lowering drug prices Senate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA MORE (Utah)
Instead of a special prosecutor, President Trump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey. http://bit.ly/2q6KTJh

Lawyer Jonathan Singer tweeted a theory: “Savvy suggestion from Mike Lee, knowing this would free up a seat on the powerful D.C. Circuit for Trump to fill.” http://bit.ly/2qvvaF8



The Senate is in. The House meets pro forma at 2 p.m.

Sometime in the next few days: President Trump is expected to visit the FBI’s headquarters after firing James Comey as FBI director. Please oh please let this be livestreamed. http://bit.ly/2qXErWv



1:30 p.m. EDT: White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2pCE8wa

5:30 p.m. EDT: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is speaking at the Brookings Institution. Livestream: http://brook.gs/2qY1ArF

Tonight: NBC’s Lester Holt is interviewing President Trump. It will air on NBC’s “Nightly News” and on Friday’s “Today.”

Noon tomorrow: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speak at an Aspen Institute event. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2qvJ6Pp

9 p.m. EDT Saturday: Judge Jeanine Pirro is interviewing President Trumphttp://bit.ly/2q8PU2n 



Today is National “Eat What You Want” Day. Seriously. I.e.: There is no actual food holiday today! :(

OH MAN, THIS HEADLINE: Via BBC Africa, Zimbabwe's “President Mugabe is not sleeping at conferences, but closing his eyes to protect them, his spokesman says.” You have to see the photo: http://bit.ly/2pBvkpJ

And because you read this far, here’s a hungry porcupine with some balance issues. We’ve all been there...: http://bit.ly/2q8Pzgn


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