The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking - Nebraska approves Keystone route | Trump to declare N. Korea state sponsor of terror | Second woman accuses Franken of inappropriate touching | On Capitol Hill, few name names on harassment | Trump hits back at father of UCLA player | DeBlasio headed to Iowa | WH turkeys staying at the Willard | DC's hidden bars



Uh, oh -- there's another Sen. Franken story: Via CNN's MJ Lee, a second woman has said Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenAP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Franken offers Dems a line of questioning for Kavanaugh's 'weirdly specific bit of bulls---' The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix MORE (D-Minn.) acted inappropriately around her. This new allegation: 33-year-old Lindsay Menz said Franken grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo with her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. "As her husband held up her phone and got ready to snap a photo of the two of them, Franken 'pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,' Menz said. 'It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.'"

Franken's reaction to CNN: "Franken said he did not remember taking the photo with Menz and that he felt 'badly' that she felt disrespected. 'I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don't remember taking this picture,' Franken said. 'I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.'"

Keep in mind: Franken was sworn in to the Senate in July 2009. From The Associated Press story that day: "The Minnesota Democrat's swearing-in marked the end of an eight-month political and legal struggle and drew thunderous applause in the Senate chamber. His presence gives Democrats 60 votes, enough to thwart possible Republican filibusters."

INTERESTING READ: The Hill's Cristina Marcos writes how on Capitol Hill, "staffers and lawmakers with stories to tell seem uniquely reluctant to identify their harassers." How that dynamic has come to exist:

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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



Seems like a good time to make this announcement...: The Keystone XL pipeline has been approved to run through Nebraska, clearing a key hurdle in the years-long fight to build the project. Why the timing isn’t ideal: The decision came after a rupture in TransCanada’s Keystone system spilled an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota last week, an incident that rankled opponents of the XL expansion.

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, Craig Stevens, spokesperson for Grow America’s Infrastructure Now, argues that spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil.



I really hope they take this designation as a compliment: This morning, President Trump said he will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move designed to further isolate the rouge nation for its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Context: North Korea was taken off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror in 2008 during nuclear negotiations with the George W. Bush administration.



President Trump should add 'ethics spokesman' to his Twitter profile: President Trump slammed Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, saying the NFL should suspend him next time he doesn't stand for the national anthem. Trump's tweet: "Marshawn Lynch ... stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down."

It's a thankless job, huh?: Yesterday, President Trump lashed out at the father of a UCLA basketball player who downplayed Trump's importance in getting his son released from shoplifting charges in China. Trump tweeted: "Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!"

BACK STORY: LaVar Ball's son LiAngelo Ball and two other players faced potential jail sentences for shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store while the UCLA basketball team was on a trip to China. Trump then reportedly spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the players were released. Trump then questioned whether the players would thank him. The players subsequently held a press conference to apologize for the incident and thank Trump.

What, can a guy not visit Iowa these days for its beautiful state parks and expansive farmers' markets?!: Via the Des Moines Register, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) will headline a political fundraiser in Iowa next month. Details: De Blasio will be the featured guest at Progress Iowa's "holiday party" fundraiser on Dec. 19 in Des Moines.



I bet these two could rack up quite the room service and pay per view tab...: The White House turkeys have arrived in Washington, D.C., for the pardoning ceremony, set for Tuesday. Ooh la la: The turkeys are staying in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.


Oh wow:



Congress is o-u-t, out.

Today: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenRasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 Biden: Trump, Putin presser was 'beneath the dignity' of the presidency Biden: I’m ‘ashamed’ of Trump’s border policies MORE turns 75 years old.

Today: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting in the White House.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump walks a tightrope with comments on NATO Progressive politics have done nothing to help black America Is civility in America really dead? MORE.

1:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: Haley would be 'very strong' presidential candidate Watchdog: First lady spokeswoman may have violated Hatch Act with ‘MAGA’ tweet MORE.

6 p.m. EST Tuesday: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks at a New York University event. Details:

Tuesday: The White House turkeys' pardoning ceremony.



2 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day.

I guess it's not a peppermint mocha world that we're just living in: Here's what Starbucks holiday drinks look like around the world. I'm lookin' at you, Vanilla Nougat Latte in Indonesia.

This is an unfortunately brilliant marketing strategy...: Via The Washington Post's Holley Simmons, here's a list of D.C.'s hidden bars, ranked from the easiest to the most difficult to get into.

And because you read this far, here's what it takes for one dad to get three triplets and a toddler in their pajamas. I'm extremely impressed.


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