The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Wolff's Trump book tops Amazon charts | Bannon fights for survival | What Bannon's woes mean for midterms | New scrutiny on Trump's mental fitness | Trump preps work requirements for Medicaid | National Whipped Cream Day

 

Next up: The White House schmoozes Rihanna for the rights to this song http://bit.ly/2Cwyhzf: Via The Hill's Peter Sullivan, the Trump administration is preparing to release guidelines for requiring Medicaid recipients to work, according to sources familiar with the plans. What this means: It will set the conditions for allowing states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs for the first time. This is a major shift in the 50-year-old program. Expect Democrats to hit back: Democrats are gearing up for a fight, likely including lawsuits, arguing the administration is trying to undermine ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion on its own after Congress failed to repeal the health-care law. http://bit.ly/2CW9a9V

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Happy Friday! 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.

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

The early bird catches the Trump fury: Michael Wolff's highly anticipated book on the Trump White House, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," was released today, four days ahead of schedule. http://cnnmon.ie/2qt3vFz

On the authenticity of the stories: Via CNNMoney, "Some of Wolff's reporting has already been corroborated. But the book also contains some errors, according to early reviewers." http://cnnmon.ie/2qt3vFz

Michael Wolff on the free promotion Trump has given the book: "Where do I send the box of chocolates?" Wolff says the president's attempts to stop the book will help him sell copies and "prove the point of the book." http://cnnmon.ie/2CIVamZ

How it's doing on Amazon: Wolff's book is dominating the charts on Amazon. Earlier today, "three formats -- a hardcover edition, e-book version and an audiobook ... took the first, second and third slots on Amazon's best sellers list." http://bit.ly/2Cv39Qo

Before the book was released -- Trump was not a happy camper: The president tweeted, "I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don't exist. Look at this guy's past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!" http://bit.ly/2F3HnVs

This a.m. -- Wolff responds: "I absolutely spoke to the president ... it certainly was not off the record," Wolff said on NBC's "Today." "My window into Donald Trump is pretty significant. I work like every journalist works. I have recordings. I have notes. I am certainly and absolutely in every way comfortable with what I have reported." http://bit.ly/2F3HnVs

Right before 11 p.m. last night at Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C.:

Ha, this is pretty entertaining to watch:

Serious question: How does one even defend their mental fitness?: Fears about President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE's mental fitness have burst into public view. Why: The new book detailing the chaotic early months of his presidency and Trump's tweet taunting North Korea's leader over the size of his "nuclear button." Why this matters: Concerns are being voiced almost exclusively by Trump critics and the media, but this is still unprecedented. What could happen if the concerns become more widespread: http://bit.ly/2CvZEcn

Tidbit -- a week from today: Via The Associated Press, "President Donald Trump undergoes full physical examination, as is traditional for U.S. presidents on an annual basis." http://bit.ly/2CZY9Vf

Hmm, I wonder if it will be this doctor again: Throwback to Dr. Harold Bornstein, who declared in his letter that Donald Trump is healthier than all American presidents. http://wapo.st/2m1TavK

 

RELEASED THIS A.M.

Give me a J, O, B, S: The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, below expectations. Context: Employers added 228,000 jobs in November. The good news: That figure caps off the seventh consecutive year of annual employment growth above 2 million, a streak the U.S. hasn't seen since the web boom of the 1990s. Unemployment rate: It remained at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since December 2000. http://bit.ly/2lWt3p3

Putting it into perspective: "Pretty much a steady-as-she goes jobs report. A bit of a miss on the jobs number, but stability on the U-3 rate, wages, labor force participation, and the employment-population ratio.​ After revisions, job gains have averaged​ ​204,000 over the ​p​ast 3 months." (From the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis) http://bit.ly/2F1Ogqk

 

TAKEAWAY FROM THE WEEK

 

IN OTHER NEWS

He's hot, then he's cold. He's yes, then he's no. He's in, then he's out. He's up, then he's down. You're wrong when it's right. It's black and it's white. --> http://bit.ly/2EcBpR3: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, President Trump's former controversial chief strategist Stephen Bannon is fighting for survival. The heaviest blow: One of his most important financial backers, Rebekah Mercer, issued a rare public rebuke of him. It's not just the anti-Bannons: Even conservative strategists who harbor some sympathy for Bannon are shocked at the speed of his apparent fall. What to know about Mercer: Rebekah Mercer, along with her father, billionaire Robert Mercer, is one of the most important funders of conservative political activities. Mercer is a major shareholder in Breitbart, having agreed to buy her father's shares in the organization in November. http://bit.ly/2CJskD4

LATE THIS A.M. -- TRUMP NEWS NETWORK TWEET: President Trump tweeted the news: "The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing Bookstore owner calls police after customer confronted Steve Bannon Trump’s plan to drown government must be stopped MORE. Smart!" http://bit.ly/2AxynEI

WHAT THIS FALLOUT MEANS FOR THE MIDTERMS: Via ABC's John Verhovek, "The open sparring between Trump and Bannon threatens to undermine the former top White House aide's ability to hold together his coalition of hand-picked candidates in a number of high-profile 2018 Senate races." More on the 2018 implications: http://abcn.ws/2m3UrSY

OP-ED: Lloyd Green, who was the opposition research counsel to the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988, argues that Stephen Bannon's fall from grace shows President Trump is looking beyond his base. http://bit.ly/2m1TTNC

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Lol, SAME.:

 

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are out.

1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump leaves the White House for Camp David.

2:45 p.m. EST: President Trump participates in a Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David.

Monday: North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's birthday. He "allegedly" turns 35. http://bit.ly/2m28Hf2

 

SUNDAY SHOW GUESTS:

NBC's "Meet the Press": Author Michael Wolff to discuss his blockbuster book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House." He will also appear on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday.

"Fox News Sunday": Former Trump campaign manager Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing Washington big names celebrate launch of Hill.TV The Hill's Morning Report — Trump denigrates NATO allies, floats 4 percent solution MORE; CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Graham would consider US-Russia military coordination in Syria White House: Trump 'disagrees' with Putin's request to question Americans MORE.

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Whipped Cream Day!

Attention Eataly fans: A new Spanish version of Eataly is opening in New York later this year. Details: http://bit.ly/2AuAlWl

New Year's resolutions are overrated anyway: For all of January, IHOP is serving unlimited pancakes for $3.99. Thought you should know... http://bit.ly/2m2krhz

And because you made it to the end of the week, here's a blow-up mascot reeking havoc in a mall. The man's reaction is incredible: http://bit.ly/2F2ZhaS

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