The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking -- Issa retiring | Trump blasts judge after ruling blocks him from ending DACA | Trump unleashes on 'Sneaky' Feinstein for releasing Fusion GPS testimony | What a Trump–Congress immigration deal could look like | Dunkin Donuts cuts 10 menu items


Issa out.: Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaHouse votes to disavow carbon tax Sparks fly at hearing on anti-conservative bias in tech House GOP questions FBI lawyer for second day MORE (R-Calif.) just announced he will not seek reelection this year. Why this is big: It increases Democrats' chances of flipping his swing district. Keep in mind: Issa barely won reelection in 2016 by just more than half a percentage point (!) in a San Diego-area district that went for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE by about 7 points.


OH AND I SHOULD ALSO MENTION: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceTop Dem lawmaker pushing committee for closed-door debrief with Trump’s interpreter Lawmakers target link between wildlife poaching, terror groups GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki MORE, also a Republican from California who represents a district won by Clinton, announced on Monday that he won't seek reelection this year either. Why the numbers are worrying Republicans: Democrats need to flip at least 24 seats to win back the House majority.

It's Wednesday -- Half! clap. Way! clap. There! 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.



Can you hear that noise? I think it's the sound of White House officials collectively screaming into a pillow: Late last night, a judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The judge's ruling: The Department of Homeland Security's "decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise." What this means for now: DACA recipients who failed to renew their status by last year's deadline will have a chance to submit renewal applications. But the decision does not allow new applications to be submitted.


From White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders -- what you'd expect: "We find this decision to be outrageous, especially in light of the President's successful bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on the same day," she said in a statement.

*Bracing for the president's Twitter feed*: This morning, 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 tweeted about the decision. "It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts."

Why the timing is a little awkward: During a lengthy bipartisan meeting at the White House yesterday, President Trump and congressional negotiators outlined parameters of a potential immigration deal.

The deal -- four key components: 
1. Protect an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 DACA recipients from deportation
2. Beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico border
3. Change the weighting given to family relationships when granting legal status 
4. Reform the diversity visa lottery program.



Picture this. It's 2078 and we're still talking about the dossier. *screams internally*: Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Deal to fix family separations hits snag in the Senate Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE (D-Calif.) unilaterally released more than 300 pages of an interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whose firm commissioned the controversial dossier on President Trump. The gist of what we learned: The dossier's author, a former British intelligence officer named Christopher Steele, said the FBI already had "other intelligence" backing up claims in the dossier when he met with an agent in September.


1. Glenn Simpson defended the veracity of the dossier.
2. According to Simpson, dossier author Christopher Steele "severed" his relationship with the FBI after a questionable New York Times story.
3. The partisan rift on Senate Judiciary Committee is growing wider.
4. The criminal referral against Steele remains a mystery.
5. There may have been a dossier-related death.

Details for each:

LAST NIGHT: Michael Cohen, a lawyer for President Trump, has filed lawsuits against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS over the dossier.

This a.m. -- I can just feel that the characters were typed a little harder than usual: On Feinstein releasing the testimony, President Trump tweeted: "The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!"

And on the Russia investigation: He tweeted: "The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!"

OP-ED: Former federal prosecutor Gregory J. Wallance says Trump's presidency is hanging on whether he can be honest under oath.



Snaps for the U.S. of A.: South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier today said that President Trump deserved "big credit" for kick starting talks between North and South Korea. In his words: "I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, I want to show my gratitude," Moon said, according to Reuters. "It could be a resulting work of the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure."

ON WHETHER TRUMP WOULD TALK WITH NORTH KOREA: Via The Hill's Jordan FabianPresident Trump told South Korea's leader today that he's open to direct talks with North Korea over its nuclear program, according to the White House.




Hahah, well played...:



The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is visiting the White House this afternoon.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and 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.

2 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway and holds an expanded bilateral meeting.

2:15 p.m. EST: First votes in the House.

2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate will vote on nominations.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with 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.

4:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDem lawmaker calls for cryptocurrency probe after Mueller indictments Meet the woman who is Trump's new emissary to Capitol Hill On The Money: Fed chief lays out risks of trade war | Senate floats new Russia sanctions amid Trump backlash | House passes bill to boost business investment MORE.

4:30 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

Moved to February: White House officials told senators that the release of President Trump's long-awaited infrastructure package may slip to next month. When it was promised: Early January, When it could now be released: After Trump's inaugural State of the Union address on Jan. 30. (Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona



3:20 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a joint press conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway. Livestream:

6:30 p.m. EST: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) gives his final State of the Commonwealth address. Livestream:



Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate Day! It's also National Oysters Rockefeller Day

I wonder how Casey Affleck feels about this --> Via, Dunkin Donuts is removing 10 items from its menu. The list:

Fascinating read -- I. Love. Dolphins.: The Guardian's Anuschka de Rohan writes about the behaviors of dolphins and why "the more we study dolphins, the brighter they turn out to be."

And because ily guys, here's a goose chasing a dog around a rock. I have my money on the goose.


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