The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
© Getty / How I imagine President Trump when he clicked “send” on that tweet.

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump busy tweeting on first day back | Hits NY Times, ex-Clinton aide | Takes credit for air-safety record | Pakistan summons US envoy after Trump tweet | Congress returning to packed January | Five big fights for 2018 | Target's big redesign


...and how 'bout those TSA lines?: This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBrennan fires new shot at Trump: ‘He’s drunk on power’ Trump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report Trump tried to dissuade Melania from 'Be Best' anti-bullying campaign: report MORE took credit for the safest year on record in commercial aviation. He tweeted: "Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news -- it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!" What's unclear: The president did not detail what steps he took to improve airline safety. His highest-profile initiative -- privatizing air traffic control -- stalled in Congress.

WHAT SPARKED THIS TWEET: A new study that recorded zero deaths on commercial passenger jets worldwide. Keep in mind: There has not been a fatal passenger airline crash in the U.S. since 2009.

REACTION: Social media mocked Trump's tweet relentlessly.

It's Tuesday -- that dumpster fire of a year is over. Happy 2018!! 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.



'Fine, if you still want to tweet that in 2018, go for it': This morning, President Trump offered his congratulations to the new publisher of The New York Times, A.G. SulzbergerHe tweeted: "The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, 'to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.' Get impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent 'sources,' and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won't have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL."

AND A LITTLE BIT ABOUT IRAN: President Trump said the Iranian people are "finally" taking action against the country's "brutal and corrupt" rule, again warning its leaders that "the U.S. is watching." He tweeted: "All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their 'pockets.' The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!"

AND ROUNDING IT OFF WITH A SMATTERING ON THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN: President Trump appeared to call for the Justice Department to "act" on former Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison Poll: Dem opponent leads Scott Walker by 5 points Cuomo fires back at Trump: 'America is great because it rejects your hate-filled agenda' MORE adviser Huma Abedin and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump aides discussed using security clearance revocations to distract from negative stories: report White House drafts docs for Trump to revoke more security clearances: report Strzok firing a needed first step to restoring credibility and fairness to the FBI MORE. He tweeted: "Crooked Hillary Clinton's top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others"


The rocket man references are back: President Trump this morning said that sanctions placed on North Korea are starting "to have a big impact. "Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not -- we will see!" What this tweet appears to be referencing: Potential talks next week between North Korea and South Korea. Seoul suggested the talks today after Kim delivered a New Year's speech in which he said he is "open to dialogue," according to reports.

Just as an FYI: The 2018 Winter Olympics, which South Korea is hosting, begin in 36 days.

Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd Lauer‘60 Minutes’ executive to ‘stay on vacation’ amid harassment probe Dem senator who replaced Franken on his future in Minnesota: 'It's complicated' Colbert targets CBS boss on harassment claims: ‘Accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody’ MORE's replacement is announced: Hoda Kotb will join Savannah Guthrie as a co-anchor of NBC's "Today." Keep in mind: Kotb has been filling in since Matt Lauer was fired.



Happy New Yeeear!: In President Trump's first tweet of the new year, he said that Pakistan harbors terrorists and accused the nation of "lies & deceit." His tweet: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"

HOW PAKISTAN REACTED: Pakistan's defense minister slammed Trump's tweet, saying the U.S. has given Pakistan "nothing but invective & mistrust."

UPDATE -- THE MIDDLE MAN IS SUMMONED TO EXPLAIN: The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan was reportedly summoned to the Pakistani foreign ministry to explain the tweet.

OP-ED: American Foreign Policy Council fellow Stephen Blank says we should expect 2018 to be a year of living dangerously as global tensions rise.



Welcome back to your shiny, new, functioning government -- lol: Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona and Scott Wong, lawmakers are returning to Washington without a clear strategy to tackle a massive pile-up of unresolved issues that are threatening a government shutdown in just three weeks. Why Republicans are probably having anxiety: Before leaving town for the holidays, Congress passed a temporary spending bill to keep the government's lights on until Jan. 19. But GOP leaders punted contentious fights over immigration, health care, national security and disaster funding into the New Year. I.e.: They're facing a potential crisis of their own making.

FIVE FIGHTS FACING CONGRESS IN 2018: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, here are the volatile issues coming up in Congress:

One of the major showdowns to expect -- immigration: Lawmakers were locked in closed-door immigration negotiations with top White House officials right before the holidays. Instead: Both chambers adjourned without a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Refresher on DACA: The program allows certain immigrants, often called "Dreamers," who came to the United States illegally as children to work and go to school here.

UPDATE THIS MORNING -- TRUMP STEPS INThe president tweeted, "Democrats are doing nothing for DACA -- just interested in politics. DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems, will start 'falling in love' with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS."

WHAT TO WATCH ON WEDNESDAY: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTo make the House of Representatives work again, make it bigger Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNew Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances New Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' MORE (D-Calif.) are expected to meet with top White House officials on Wednesday to discuss myriad policy fights, including DACA.

It's been 73 yeaaars. (It's been one year): Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, true to his style, President Trump's first year in office was tumultuous and unpredictable. As he begins his second year, what are some of the big things to look out for? 

  1. Does he hit the campaign trail in advance of the midterms?
  2. Does he keep faith with his legal team?
  3. Does he reach out to Democrats? 
  4. Where does he go next on foreign policy?
  5. Does he hold onto his base?

What we know about each:



This sums up today pretty well:


Headlines are important:

The full story: 



The House is out until next week. The Senate returns tomorrow. 

President Trump is back from Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida. What he did on vacation:

Tidbit: Yesterday was the 117th day that Trump has spent at one of his own properties since taking office.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaRene (Alex) Alexander AcostaTrump Jr. falsely claims that GDP growth never passed 2 percent under Obama Small businesses just scored a win on health-care costs RNC chairwoman, Labor secretary pull out of annual Latino conference MORE.



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



Today is National Buffet Day. It's also National Cream Puff Day.

Great. Wonderful. This is exactly what I need. I don't go there enough already...: Target is planning a major redesign of some of its stores. "The new Target store has two separate entrances; one for those making quick #TargetRuns, and the other for those who want to browse at a more leisurely pace." Photos of the new Target:

And because you made it this far, here's a terrier in a red dress riding around on a bright red scooter.

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