The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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President Trump was caught off guard by the 'ASEAN-way' handshake at a summit in the Philippines. This photo has been getting a lot of traction. Click for video of the handshake.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking - McConnell says Moore should 'step aside' | Trump taps Azar for HHS secretary | Trump's awkward handshake | Senate begins tax bill hearings | House to vote on its bill this week | Trump mocks Kim Jong Un as 'short and fat'


BREAKING -- McConnell calls for Moore to drop out: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (R-Ky.) has called for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to "step aside." When asked if he believes the allegations are true, McConnell said, "I believe the women." Video of McConnell's response:

Why this is newsy: When the allegations first came out last week​, McConnell said Moore should resign "if" the allegations were true. His comments today were a step further.​

The chances Moore will drop out -- smaller than the chances this newsletter will hit all of your inbox at 12:29 p.m.: Via ABC's Tom Llamas and J.J. GallagherBrett Doster, an adviser to Roy Moore, said he doesn't plan to let anything force him out of the Alabama Senate race. When was asked if the GOP candidate would leave the race if he was asked by President Trump, Doster said, "No. Nothing is getting him out. He's not going anywhere."

Moore threatens to sue The Washington Post: Via The Associated Press, during an event Sunday, Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore called The Washington Post "fake news" and "a desperate attempt to stop my political campaign." He said the newspaper "will be sued."

McConnell on the Bannon effect -- Ha! Ha-Ha. Haaaaa. HAHA.: "And Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, is vowing to depose him, telling The New York Times that 'I have an objective that Mitch McConnell will not be majority leader, and I believe will be done before this time next year.' Mr. McConnell, he added, 'has to go.'" McConnell's response: He laughed. "You can write that down," he said in an interview with the New York Times. "I laughed. Ha-ha. That's a perfect response."

It's Monday -- T minus 10 days until Thanksgiving! 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.



Meet your new nominee for HHS secretary: President Trump on Twitter announced that he is nominating Alex Azar for secretary of Health and Human Services, a role vacated by Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceGreen group calls on Pruitt to pay back first-class flight costs Top Dems seeks answers from HHS on ethics lapses GOP lawmaker calls for Shulkin to resign MORE in late September. Why Price vacated the post: Revelations that he took repeated trips on government and private jets that cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

What to know about Azar: Azar has a deep knowledge of the regulatory process, those who worked with him said. He left the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly in January after working there for nearly a decade and worked in HHS in the George W. Bush administration.

What to expect for his nomination: Democrats will likely put up a fight against any potential secretary who supports key items of the Republican agenda, in particular repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

It was 11 p.m. in the Philippines -- guess who was on Twitter? Trump weighed in on congressional Republicans' tax-reform efforts. His 280-character tweet: "I am proud of the Rep. House & Senate for working so hard on cutting taxes {& reform.} We're getting close! Now, how about ending the unfair & highly unpopular Indiv Mandate in OCare & reducing taxes even further? Cut top rate to 35% w/all of the rest going to middle income cuts?"

Context: From The Hill's Jordan Fabian, "Reminder: Republicans on Capitol Hill do not like these kinds of tweets." Why: "Republicans expressed near universal agreement that drawing red lines on specific tax provisions this early in the process is unhelpful."



Violently spits out coffee and Googles to make sure this wasn't from a parody account: President Trump responded to the latest round of name-calling from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the weekend. Cutting Kim to his core -- Trump tweeted: "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"

How this tweet makes the most sense to me -->  ;)

WHAT SPARKED THIS: North Korean state media said this week that "no-one can predict when the lunatic old man of the White House, lost to sense, will start a nuclear war," referring to Trump's aggressive rhetoric toward Kim Jong Un.

SUPPORTIVE OF THE TWEET -- KELLYANNE CONWAY COMMENTS: White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway commented on Trump's tweet, saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un insulted the president first. In Conway's words: "What's helpful in full context is a 13-day trip where the president is very focused on global security and combating terrorism and most importantly, containing a nuclearized North Korea. I think that was the president just responding the way he does to somebody who insulted him first," Conway said.

NOT SUPPORTIVE OF THE TWEET -- Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states MORE COMMENTS: Former Vice President Joe Biden this morning said that President Trump's recent rhetoric about North Korea's leader is a "big mistake" that is "beneath the office" of the presidency. In Biden's words: "We are admired not just for the exercise of our power, but the power of our example. And it matters the way we conduct our discourse. It matters the way in which we talk. Our leaders have impact on attitudes. And I just think it's a big mistake and it's beneath the office."

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, former National Security Council adviser Gillian Turner explains the importance of President Trump stressing his "America First" message during his Asia trip.



President Trump would be great at writing Bravo teasers: President Trump told reporters today during a summit in Manila that he would make a trade announcement following his return from a 13-day tour of Asia later this week. When the announcement would be made: Sometime Wednesday. What we know about it: "We've made some very big steps with respect to trade, far bigger than anything you know, in addition to about $300 billion in sales to various companies, including China," Trump said, according to a pool report.

In Congress -- how House Republicans want to pregame their Thanksgiving dinner: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney, it's showtime for House Republicans this week as they prepare to vote on their tax reform legislation before leaving for the Thanksgiving holiday. Timing: The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday to set up floor debate, indicating an expected Thursday vote. More on the tax vote and what else is going in Congress this week:

The Hill's Whip List -- where the vote stands: Democrats are unlikely to vote for the bill, meaning that GOP leaders can afford up to 22 defections and still pass the legislation on their own. So far, just seven Republicans have said they will vote no. That's a good sign for Republican leaders compared to their ObamaCare repeal efforts. Bookmark this page -- it's constantly updated as the vote tallies change:





Read it. Now, read it one more time:



The House just gaveled in. The Senate will meet later today.

President Trump is in the Philippines for his last stop on the Asia trip. He will attend the East Asia Summit tomorrow.

4 p.m. EST: The Senate meets. Their schedule today:

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

6:30 p.m. EST: The House votes. Their schedule today:

Tuesday — ​2 a.m. EST: President Trump departs the Philippines en route to Hickam, Hawaii and then to Washington, D.C.



3 p.m. EDT: The Senate Finance Committee begins working on the tax-reform bill. Livestream:

8 a.m. EST Tuesday: The Hill is hosting an event on digitalizing infrastructure featuring Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAt least Alzheimer’s research is bringing Washington together Overnight Tech: Intel chief says 'no doubt' Russia will meddle in midterms | Dems press FCC over net neutrality comments | Bill aims to bridge rural-urban digital divide | FCC to review rules on children's TV Senators offer bill to close rural-urban internet divide MORE (R-W.Va.) and Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands). Details and how to RSVP: Livestream:



Today is National Indian Pudding Day.

Another reason 2017 needs to end: Via Refinery29, meat cakes are now a thing. Photo of a 7-tier cake made with deli meat: 

And because you read this far, here's golden retriever who loves to take relaxing showers:


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