The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

Sign up to receive the 12:30 Report right to your inbox: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn 

--> 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 – White House says Trump is not a liar | The scene at Comey's hearing | Comey accuses admin of lies | Says he hopes 'there are tapes' | Leaked memos to spur special counsel | Ryan defends Trump | DC's 10 am bar scene | 'Comey yoga' in L.A. (?)

SHORT COMEY: 'YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES!': Fired FBI Director James Comey just accused the Trump administration of defaming him and telling "lies" during his testimony. What confused Comey: The White House's shifting rationale for his ouster. His words: "The administration chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly run. ... Those were lies, plain and simple." http://bit.ly/2sj3JiB

OTHER BREAKING REVELATIONS -- COMEY GIVES INSIGHT ON THE LEAKS TO THE PRESS: Shortly after his dismissal as head of the FBI, James Comey authorized "a close friend" to leak the contents of his memos to the press. Why:  To prompt a special counsel investigation.  His words: "I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel." http://bit.ly/2s0lTVH

JUST NOW — THE WHITE HOUSE RESPONDS: White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back, saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE is “not a liar.” Her words: “I can definitively say the president is not a liar,” Sanders told reporters during an off-camera briefing at the White House. “I think it is frankly insulting that question would be asked.” http://bit.ly/2rQDNb9

*PULLS OUT LISA FRANK SPARKLY NOTEBOOK*: Comey testified that he kept personal memos about his interactions with President TrumpWhen asked why by Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Comey back in the spotlight after Flynn makes a deal Warner: Every week another shoe drops in Russia investigation MORE (D-Va.): "The nature of the person," Comey said. "I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document." To note: Comey didn't do the same thing with former Presidents Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE or George W. Bush. http://bit.ly/2r5KWY9

ADVERTISEMENT
JUST NOW — Ryan: blame on-the-job training: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees House Republican: 'I worry about both sides' of the aisle on DACA Overnight 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 MORE (R-Wis.) suggested that President Trump’s alleged pressuring of Comey to stop investigating Flynn may stem from a lack of government experience. Ryan’s words: “The president’s new at this. He’s new to government. So he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, the FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.” http://bit.ly/2sYgrjc

HAPPENING SOON — THE PRESIDENT HOPES YOU TUNE IN FOR ALTERNATE PROGRAMMING: President Trump is about to speak at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Conference in Washington, D.C. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2rZFN2X

Yikes, it's only 12:30? Filing from the Hart Senate Office Building where Comey is currently testifying, 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.

"COMEY-ING HOT": Comey is making his first public appearance since being fired by Trump. 

Live stream: http://cs.pn/2sjxi3g 

Live blog of updates: http://bit.ly/2qZRTWB

 

FIRST, LET'S SET THE SCENE FOR YOU: 

Before you read this next section, please first click this link for background music -->  http://bit.ly/2qZvRD6  ;)

Will someone please come claim their soon-to-be drunk employee?: "The staffer, who did not give a name because he was playing hooky, took a swig of D.C. Brau: 'There's no better place to witness history.' " http://bit.ly/2rZeANY

Burr's wheels: "7:52am: Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSessions argued presidents can obstruct justice in Clinton impeachment trial Trump Jr. to meet with Senate panel amid Russia probe Trump’s Russian winter grows colder with Flynn plea deal MORE (R-N.C.), who drives a Volkswagen Thing, arrives at Capitol ahead of the Comey Hearing." Lol, that's his car?! Photo: http://bit.ly/2rPAhh9

The interns who are ready for their 15 minutes of Snapchat fame: "Asked the interns at the front of the line waiting for Comey Hearing what time they got here: 4:15am: 'Totally worth it,' one said." (From Politico's Kyle Cheney) Photo of the early risers: http://bit.ly/2qZdTAZ

The line to get in: "The line to get into the Comey hearing is insane. You would think Zeppelin is reuniting. Goes around and around." http://bit.ly/2sX6VwO

The line between #news and #creepy is far too murky: Here's the stakeout camera outside of Comey's house. Live stream: http://cs.pn/2rEHanb

Morning, neighbor!: "Neighbor just pulled up in Mercedes in front of cameras set up outside Comey home. Took our picture. 'I actually feel bad for him,' he said." (From CNN's Betsy Kline) http://bit.ly/2rF4Lnz

Nice weather we're having, huh?: "Another neighbor, jogging by: 'I'm sure he's going to talk to you instead of the Senate Committee.' " http://bit.ly/2sHgwsd

Video of Comey leaving his home for the hearing: http://bit.ly/2rZksqs

Watch parties:

If you're curious what the bar scene looks like: Here's the view at Shaw's Tavern. http://bit.ly/2s7rnyC And Union Pub: http://bit.ly/2siYNKk

OK, L.A.: "COMEY YOGA at the Comey watch party in L.A." Video: http://bit.ly/2sj1mMD

It's a camera parade!: The cameras in the hearing room have kept me pretty entertained. http://bit.ly/2qZM1N1 

Today summed up in one photo: Brilliant. http://politi.co/2r4Ya7A

SPOTTED -- Oh, hello, old friend: Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio) in the Speaker's press office. http://bit.ly/2rZvEmV

View from Comey's seat: http://bit.ly/2ra2Iog

Curious what the constituent questions look like?: Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank Wealthy outsiders threaten to shake up GOP Senate primaries MORE (D-W.Va.) received over 600 questions from his constituents. His staff pulled a few for him to use. His notebook: http://bit.ly/2rPOGKv

Hopefully (but not definitely) the weirdest thing you'll see all day: Special assistant to Obama Ned Price tweeted: "My dog was just interviewed about Comey outside the corner bar. We may have jumped the shark. (He declined to comment on the record.)" Photo: http://bit.ly/2rZqyqZ

Timeline of Trump/Comey relationship: It's pretty interesting to see in one place. http://nbcnews.to/2s7hpxr

 

DURING THE HEARING SO FAR:

Lordy, lordy: Comey said he was too "stunned" to respond to Trump when asked to bury the FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He also expressed his hope that his conversations with the president were recorded, saying: "Lordy, I hope there are tapes." http://bit.ly/2rFqnR7

Not date night! :( Comey said he had to cancel a date with his wife when President Trump asked him to have dinner earlier this year. “That's one of the all-time great excuses," responded Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingTrump rips Dems a day ahead of key White House meeting Trump pushing Maine gov to run for Senate: report Schumer: Franken should resign MORE (I-Maine). Watch: http://bit.ly/2s8lz8c

You scratch my back, I scratch yours: "Comey says he believed Trump was "looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job." (Via AP) http://bit.ly/2sXHwTL

Hmmm – on Russian banks: "Wow. Senator King: What can you tell us about Russian bank VEB: Comey: "Nothing that I can talk about in an open setting." http://bit.ly/2s83mro

Yep, this happened: "History made: Former FBI director calls a sitting president a liar." (From NYT's Glenn Thrushhttp://bit.ly/2s7Veao

Did Trump ask about anything else?: Warner: "Did the president ever ask about any other ongoing investigation?" ... Comey: "No." http://bit.ly/2rZzRae

On obstruction: When Trump said "I hope" you drop the investigation: "Those words are not an order," but "I took it as a direction." http://bit.ly/2rPKnyx

Dayuuum, that poker face!: "[For what it's worth], Comey has not emoted in 15 minutes. Stone faced. No movement. Like a wax figurine of a killer poker player." (From The Washington Post's Philip Rucker) Photo of his facial expression: http://bit.ly/2rF5ogU

What the Republican Party is saying: "RNC messaging just sent out email with subject line: James 'I don't know' Comey." http://bit.ly/2r05SM8

Comey's opening statement: The gist: "Parts of Comey statement are good for POTUS, corroborating his claims. Parts are quite bad. Vintage Comey - makes no one happy." (From NBC's Savannah Guthrie) http://bit.ly/2rZI1Q4 Read his statement: http://bit.ly/2r8VNMc

JUST REPORTED ABOUT LAST NIGHT -- Celebratory cigars feel a bit excessive in this case: A CNN reporter said Trump's outside counsel, Marc Kasowitz, was seen celebrating last night at the Trump International Hotel in Washington after Comey's prepared testimony was published. "I'm told Kasowitz seen at Trump hotel last night celebrating, buying cigars, saying: 'We won... it's clear Trump didn't do anything wrong,'" CNN correspondent Jim Acosta tweeted this morning. http://bit.ly/2rZMQsx

 

TRUMP'S LIVE TWEETS SO FAR:

*Radio silence*

Why we're especially surprised: The Washington Post's Robert Costa tweeted yesterday: "I'm told by two WH sources that Pres. Trump does not plan to put down Twitter ​[today.​]​ May live tweet if he feels the need to respond." http://bit.ly/2rFreAU

The winner of Trump's strategy so far -- Union Pub:​ A D.C. bar has been offering a free round of drinks every time President Trump tweets about the Comey hearing. That could have been risky. http://bit.ly/2r9ptsq

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

MEANWHILE IN THE CAPITOL -- OF COURSE THEY HAVE CHARTS!: "Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy giving an agenda briefing since 'nothing else is going on...'" Lol. Photo: http://bit.ly/2r9TiJm 

EXCLUSIVE -- CHECK OUT MY STOCK: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, "Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) has boasted about how much money he's made for other members of Congress by tipping them off to an Australia-based pharmaceutical company in which he is the largest stockholder, two GOP lawmakers told The Hill." What stock: Innate Immunotherapeutics. Context to Collins: Collins has been described as Trump's chief defender and unofficial spokesman on Capitol Hill. http://bit.ly/2qZBMbi

Implications for Collins: "House ethics investigators last month began probing Collins for his role in recruiting investors to buy stock in the Australian firm after several complaints were filed alleging insider trading. The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, passed by Congress in 2012, explicitly bars members of Congress from trading stocks using insider information." 

'I'M SORRY I RUINED YOUR LIVES AND CRAMMED 11 COOKIES INTO THE VCR': "Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican elected last month to the state's open House seat following a physical brawl with journalist Ben Jacobs, has apologized over the incident and pledged to give $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ... 'My physical response to your legitimate question was unprofessional, unacceptable, and unlawful,' he wrote." http://ti.me/2rZBCo1

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Twitchy's Greg Pollowitz (Lol.)
Donald Trump should fire Jared Kushner at 9:50 am just to mess with everyone and then hire him back at 10:15 am. http://bit.ly/2s7MPDG

TIME’s Zeke Miller (Covers eyes.)
?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?!?
Q: Is there a White House taping system?
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: "I have no idea" http://bit.ly/2rFsjJ5

 

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are in. 

12:20 p.m.: Vice President Pence meets with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney for an Infrastructure Summit working luncheon.

12:35 p.m.: Trumpspeaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

1 p.m.: The Senate Intelligence Committee continues Comey's hearing in a closed session.

1 p.m.: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee. http://bit.ly/2r9h0W1

3:30 p.m.: Trump holds an Infrastructure Summit with governors and mayors in the State Dining Room of the White House.

4 p.m.: First and last votes in the House. Its schedule today: http://bit.ly/2rPtSmn

4:30 p.m.: Senate vote on the Iran sanctions bill.

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

12 p.m.: White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is holding an off-camera (!) briefing in the White House briefing room.

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF:

Today is National "Name Your Poison" Day. And via Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), today is National Seersucker Day! http://bit.ly/2r9YCMS

CEL-EH-BRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!: Air Force Two was decorated yesterday for Pence's birthday. Photos of the décor and Pence's reaction: http://bit.ly/2rEvQY7

Because you've been too focused on this hearing and need a brief break, here's a beagle puppy that could be a professional soccer player: http://bit.ly/2rQatS9

And on that note, if you're one of the MVPs who are staked out at a bar drinking Stolichnaya vodka and stuffing your face with pierogis, I salute you. If not, the day is still young. Send me your photos, my friends!

 

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN