The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's digital operation under scrutiny | Five revelations from newly released JFK files | Budget vote raises red flags for tax reform | Push to toughen Capitol Hill's sexual harassment policies | Spain imposes direct rule after Catalonia declares independence | How 'Hocus Pocus' became a Halloween classic | National American Beer Day


This is a fun development in the Russian interference investigations: Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant, "Scrutiny on the digital side of President Trump's 2016 campaign is mounting after revelations that the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining and analysis firm that worked for the campaign, contacted WikiLeaks' Julian Assange about Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin Anti-Trump protests outside White House continue into fifth night Opera singers perform outside White House during fourth day of protests MORE's emails. But then: "The Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica millions during the 2016 presidential race. In the aftermath of the Assange revelations, aides have raced to distance the campaign from the firm."

THEN THIS A.M. ON CNN -- KELLYANNE CONWAY COMMENTS: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said she "can't be bothered" with revelations that the Trump campaign's data analytics firm attempted to partner with WikiLeaks. In her words: "I know nothing about that because I was the campaign manager, and I can't be bothered with any of that. ... And the reason is we beat (Clinton) fairly and squarely on the issues."

MEANWHILE, IN THE HOUSE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: Via The Hill's Katie Bo Williams, House Republicans are getting impatient with the Russia probe. How so: The House Intelligence Committee announced its investigation into Russia's election interference in January. Ten months later, the panel is still digging for information, frustrating members who were never enthusiastic about the probe to begin with. Many say they are ready to close the books on the matter.

MEANWHILE, IN THE SENATE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, fractures are emerging in the Senate Judiciary Committee's probe. How so: Top members are signaling they are heading in separate directions on the panel's probe, potentially threatening what had been a bipartisan investigation.

Happy Friday! Halloween is coming up, so please, please send me pictures of your children and pets in funny costumes. I live for this stuff. 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.



In international news -- peace out, Spain: Catalonia's regional parliament has declared independence from Spain. Yeah, but: "Meanwhile, the Spanish Senate in Madrid is also voting Friday on whether to implement Article 155 of the constitution – meaning that central government could be set to remove the regional government." More on what that means:

THEN -- SPAIN'S SENATE COUNTERS: Via The New York Times's Raphael Minder and Patrick Kingsley, the move of Catalan lawmakers approving independence "was quickly countered by a vote in the Spanish Senate authorizing the government to take direct control of the fractious region and remove its separatist leadership." What to expect: This could lead to a showdown this weekend.

THE LATEST -- STATE DEPARTMENT BACKS SPANISH 'UNITY': The State Department just called Catalonia "an integral part of Spain," after the semi-autonomous region held a vote for independence.  In a statement: "Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government's constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united," the State Department said. Read the full statement:



Latest with tax reform -- message from some Republicans: 'Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.''s close budget vote, 216-212 with 20 GOP no votes, is raising a red flag for Republicans on tax reform. That includes: 11 Republicans from New York and New Jersey who want a compromise on plans to eliminate the state and local tax deduction, which could hit their districts hard. But keep in mind: "None of this means the House will be unable to pass their actual tax-reform package, which is to be released next week and will be marked up in committee on Nov. 6."

SPEAKING OF THE LEGISLATIVE BATTLES TO COME -- WE MAY HAVE A GAME OF THRONESDemocrats are split over priorities for the end-of-the-year battle. The party agrees they want to use the end-of-the-year spending bill to push for their agenda items. But they can't decide which priorities -- like: Immigration vs. health care.


Important read -- behind-the-scenes look at the sexual harassment culture on Capitol Hill: Via Politico's Rachael Bade and Elana Schor, two female lawmakers and several staffers are calling for a change to Capitol Hill's sexual harassment policies, which one lawmaker called a "breeding ground for a hostile work environment." Tidbit: "Lawmakers and congressional aides are not required to undergo sexual harassment training. ... And victims must submit to as long as three months of mandated 'counseling' and 'mediation,' as well as what one lawyer involved in such cases called a 'cooling off period,' before filing a complaint against an alleged perpetrator."

Getting traction -- new info on a sad day in American history: Thousands of previously withheld records surrounding the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy were released to the public yesterday. Keep in mind: The records don't offer any bombshell revelations, but several documents give the public a peek into what happened in Dallas in 1963 and surrounding events. Here are five revelations:

1. Former CIA director: LBJ thought Kennedy assassination was payback for assassination of Vietnam president 
2. CIA considered using mafia to kill Castro
3. Memo from Hoover details Soviets' 'shock and consternation' after Kennedy death
4. The FBI received an Oswald death threat the day before his murder
5. Kennedy considered creating bounty system that valued Castro at 2 cents

THIS A.M. -- PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETED: "JFK Files are being carefully released. In the end there will be great transparency. It is my hope to get just about everything to public!"



Keep in mind for weekend plans...:

What what?:



It's pretty quiet today.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeInterior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Zinke left some details off public calendar: report House completes first half of 2019 spending bills MORE. That is the last public event on his schedule today.

12:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours Minot Air Force Base in Minot, N.D.

3:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence delivers remarks to airmen at the Minot Air Force Base in Minot, N.D.

7:50 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence arrives back in Washington, D.C.



2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream:



Today is Breadstick Day! It's also National American Beer Day!

Fun read about the only movie that truly terrifies me: Vulture's Josef Adalian writes how the movie "Hocus Pocus" became a classic Halloween hit movie. The gist: "Millennial nostalgia -- and perhaps some masterful marketing -- has transformed a movie critics once dismissed as 'an unholy mess' and a 'chaotic jumble' into an unlikely Halloween classic."

It's that time again to go upside down: Last night, Netflix released its second season of its hit show "Stranger Things." The most recent trailer:

And because you made it to the end of the week, here's a dachshund puppy who is seriously rocking these costumes:


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