The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

Confirmed: Abaaoud is Dead |  House Refugee Vote Today  |  DC Pundits, Wrong Again

NEW DEVELOPMENT — ABAAOUD DEAD: French authorities have confirmed the death of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of last week’s Paris attacks, in Wednesday’s Saint-Denis raid. French law enforcement used DNA samples and fingerprints to identify Abaaoud's body, which was reportedly "riddled" with bullets.

— The Associated Press is reporting that Abaaoud is believed to be behind four of the six attacks thwarted since the spring of 2015.

— Reuters is reporting that the Saint-Denis cell had been planning a new attack on Paris’s La Défense district.

WHAT TO WATCH ON CAPITOL HILL TODAY: Via The Hill’s Jordan Fabian, the House is set to vote on legislation that would require additional security checks on Syrian and Iraqi refugees before they could be resettled in the United States, which is expected to pass. The White House has already threatened to veto the bill — also expected.

I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of what you may have missed this morning — and what’s on tap for the rest of the day. Send tips, gripes, comments and happy hour suggestions to and @CateMartel.

JUST IN — RUBIO ENDORSEMENT: Live on Fox News, Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) has endorsed Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNikki Haley: New York Times ‘knew the facts’ about curtains and still released story March For Our Lives founder leaves group, says he regrets trying to 'embarrass' Rubio Rubio unloads on Turkish chef for 'feasting' Venezuela's Maduro: 'I got pissed' MORE (R-Fla.) for president. Full list of congressional endorsements:



The Hill’s Amie Parnes

Clinton: Slamming the door on every Syrian refugee, that is just not who we are.

RealClearPolitics’ Caitlin Huey-Burns

Asked about Obama's previous "JV team" characterization, Clinton says "there's been an evolution in their threat."

MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House MORE just delivered a tough act to follow for Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE's 2:30 Democratic socialism speech.

National Journal’s Emily Schultheis

Clinton says the U.S. should "be prepared to act decisively on our own" if necessary when it comes to ISIS.

NYT’s Amy Chozick

.@HillaryClinton on privacy: "We need Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary."

DEMS ARE STUCK BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, Democrats are caught between their support for President Obama and public opinion polls showing support for the GOP-backed legislation to freeze the flow of refugees. One Democratic lawmaker predicted 10-30 Democrats will back the Republican bill, which would give it bipartisan momentum when it lands in the Senate.

BUT, SENATE DEMS EYEING AN ALTERNATIVE: Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGillibrand calls for Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn Feinstein calls for hold on Kavanaugh consideration Grassley releases letter detailing Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation MORE (D-Calif.) will introduce legislation to broaden the debate to visa waivers granted to European citizens traveling the U.S. Basically, it would block waivers for European citizens who spent time in Syria or Iraq in the past five years.

MYSTERIOUS CLINTON AIDE LEAK: Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination MORE (D-Nev.) wanted to know why Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Feinstein calls for hold on Kavanaugh consideration Grassley releases letter detailing Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation MORE (R-Iowa) was blocking nearly two dozen State Department nominees over work done by Huma Abedin (a longtime senior aide to Hillary Clinton). Grassley has scrutinized Huma’s treatment while Clinton was secretary of State. Dems claim they know who is leaking this. More on the drama: 

TRUMP’S ISIS RALLY: At a rally in Worcester, Mass., Donald Trump told the crowd, "We've got to knock the s--- out of these people. We've got to do it. We've got to do it." The crowd then chanted, "USA! USA! USA!" There were a lot more antics at this event — The Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson has a great list of them:

DC PUNDITS, WRONG AGAIN: Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, Trump has gained steam in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, confounding widespread wisdom that such a grave event would lead voters toward a White House candidate who is “purportedly more mature and sophisticated than the erstwhile star of ‘The Apprentice.’ ”

MAPPING 101: Ben Carson’s campaign made a map of the states whose governors have opposed Syrian refugees, but messed up the layout of New England. Shouldn’t it be it harder to find an inaccurate map of the United States than a correct one?


WHAT NH IS TALKING ABOUT — BERNIE’S MOMENT TO SHINE?: Via WMUR’s John DiStaso, The “Deflate-Gate” law firm, whose report led NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend Tom Brady for four games (which has since been overturned) is hosting a fundraiser for — wait for it — Hillary Clinton. Wonder how this will go over with New Hampshire voters.

WELL PLAYED: In a segment on Megyn Kelly's show on Fox News, Saba Ahmed, president and founder of the Republican Muslim Coalition, sported an American flag hijab. Oh, and the other guest was Donald Trump’s new spokesman. Here’s a photo:

MUST-READ OP-ED: Bashing Trump, George Will writes for The Washington Post, “After Paris, we should look to Chris Christie.”

THE SOLE DEM GOVERNOR WHO OPPOSES REFUGEES: New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) wrote a column for The Union Leader, defending her support for halting Syrian refugees into the state. *To note, Hassan is running for Senate against Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford Pallbearers, speakers announced for McCain's DC memorial service and Capitol ceremony Tributes pour in for John McCain MORE (R-N.H.).

CORRECTION OF THE DAY: The New York Times has a small tweak in the Ben Carson foreign policy adviser piece yesterday. Original: @nytpolitics: Ben Carson gets weekly briefings on foreign policy so aides "can make him smart." Updated: @nytpolitics: Correction: Carson aides say he needs weekly foreign policy briefings to "make him smart"; didn't say he'd had them.

WELL THIS IS COOL: RealClearPolitics has an interactive tool for GOP delegates. 


The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons

Just met @SenTedCruz on DC street. No entourage. Spoke w/him & impressed by his sense of ease, approachability. Said he was 'having fun'

Moscow Times’s Katrin Scheib  *The link from the U.S. Embassy Moscow is hilarious

In which Izvestia fakes a State Department letter and gets trolled by the U.S. embassy: #LGBT

Don Stewart, spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Remember when? ...the State Dept stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC.

Politico’s Lauren French

Speaker Ryan just entered Nancy Pelosi's Capitol office to discuss Syria.


9:30 a.m. — 3:30 p.m. EST: The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics hosts its 17th Annual American Democracy Conference, with UVA’s Larry Sabato, former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie, Dewey Square Group’s Maria Cardona, Purple Strategies’s Margie Omero and SKDKnickerbocker’s Hilary RosenFull schedule and speakers:

10:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. EST: House votes

12:00 p.m. EST: Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) are holding a news conference on the Syrian refugees.

1:00 p.m. EST: Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (R-Ky.) is holding a rally at The George Washington University. Details:

1:20 p.m. EST: Vice President Biden will deliver remarks at the Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality and Opportunity. Live stream:

2:00 p.m. EST: Senate Homeland Committee hearing on “The Impact of ISIS on the Homeland and Refugee Resettlement.”

2:00 p.m. EST: Sanders will speak at The Georgetown University on democratic socialism. Live stream:

5:00 p.m. EST: Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow House panel advances DHS cyber vulnerabilities bills MORE (R-Wis.) and former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) join MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.”

6:00 p.m. EST: The MLB announces the year’s Most Valuable Player for both the National and American Leagues. (The smart money is on the Washington Nationals Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays.)


1:00 p.m. EST: Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Graham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump MORE (R-S.C.) joins Thomas Roberts on MSNBC.

7:00 p.m. EST: Carly Fiorina will join Fox News “On the Record.”

10:00 p.m. EST: Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Amb. Wendy R. Sherman (who was the lead U.S. negotiator in the Iran deal) will join MSNBC’s “The Last Word.”

Now for the fun stuff...

IF YOU DON’T HAVE PLANS TONIGHT, YOU NOW DO: T-Pain is performing a free show tonight at NPR’s headquarters in D.C. tonight! The show starts at 8 pm EST.

SHOUTOUT TO ALL YOU DUNKS FANS: Dunkin' Donuts is testing delivery and on the go ordering in Washington, D.C. It will start “in the coming weeks.”

With that, today is National Macchiato Day — and your author couldn’t be more thrilled. Happy almost-Friday!

This story was updated at 1:51 p.m.