The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

If you'd like to subscribe to The Hill's midday political newsletter, please click here: 


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump calls for probe into voter fraud | Poised to sign order on border wall | Protesters seize crane near White House | Dow hits 20K | GOP huddles at Philly retreat | 'Proof' Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE plays basketball



WE'LL TAKE ONE WALL, PLEASE. SURE, THROW IN SOME "MAGA" HATS!: President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE is expected to take executive actions on immigration today. Specifically what's in store: Steps to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border (via The Associated Press), sign an executive order to direct federal funds to the project (via The New York Times) and restrictions on refugees (via Reuters) that may include a multi-month ban on admissions until the U.S. can come up with improved vetting techniques.

GETTING CREATIVE: On Bloomberg TV, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) rattled off some creative ideas for funding the wall. Watch:

Happy Wednesday! 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.

REAL WORLD: WHITE HOUSE — FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE STOP BEING POLITE, AND START GETTING REAL: The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman ​just posted a fascinating look at President Donald Trump's life living in the White House so far. Tidbits: Trump's first breakfast in the White House was a buffet in the residence Saturday with fruit and pastries; his kitchen has been stocked with the same snacks as Trump's plane: Lay’s potato chips and Doritos; Trump spends his mornings watching cable TV in a small dining room while reading the papers.

— "Still, Mr. Trump, who does not read books, is able to end his evenings with plenty of television." It's a fun read:

BREAKING -- DOW! WE FINALLY DID IT!: The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday passed 20,000 points for the first time in its 120-year history, opening above the historic number. Biggest gains: Stocks in financial services and energy companies have boasted the biggest gains, reflecting likely rollbacks of Obama administration banking and environmental protection laws.


HAPPENING NOW -- I REALLY HOPE THESE PEOPLE HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY: Greenpeace USA activists have seized a crane in downtown D.C., climbed to the top and unfurled a banner that reads "RESIST" overlooking Trump's White House. There are tons of cops. Live-stream video from The Hill:

SOO, UH, HOW MUCH WILL THIS "INVESTIGATION INTO A BELIEF" COST US...?" President Trump said this morning he will launch a "major" investigation to look into voter fraud in the country. "I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and....even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)," he tweeted.

WHY HIS OWN PARTY IS GRUMBLING: Several Republican (!) lawmakers have disputed Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud. "I've seen no evidence to that effect. I've made that very, very clear," Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters.

HELLO MUDDAH, HELLO FADDUH ... CAMP IS VERY ENTERTAINING.: House and Senate Republicans are meeting in Philadelphia today for a three-day issues retreat. The lineup: They will get a pep talk from NFL great Peyton Manning, hear from British Prime Minister Theresa May, and jam to music from White Ford Bronco. And hear from the boss: President  Trump will speak Thursday. 

Retreat schedule obtained by The Hill:

Goodbye! Have fun! Send us postcards!: Here's a video of lawmakers on the train (aka Joe BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE's old stomping grounds):

FYI CAPITOL HILL STAFFERS -- BETTER SHINE THOSE RUNNING SHOES: Pre-registration for the Capitol Hill Competition, the race within the Congressional Federal Credit Union's Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, kicks off tomorrow at 11 a.m. Where: Rayburn House Office Building foyer.

YOU'RE HOT, THEN YOU'RE COLD. YOU'RE YES, THEN YOU'RE NO.: After the Department of Agriculture told staff to stop releasing any "news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content," another memo was sent from a top official to take back that order. Why this is big: The Trump administration also instituted a media blackout for employees of the EPA and the departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and the Interior. This sparked backlash and concerns that President Trump is attempting to silence any dissenting views.

BECAUSE I LIKE ALL OF YOU VERY, VERY MUCH: Here's an old clip of Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway doing a stand-up routine. But to be fair: stand-up is much harder than it looks!




The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari
Stop everything! NC Senator Tillis brings 2-month-old Boston Terrier, Matilda, to Capitol. Press corps pacified.

Deadspin tweeted: "Send us proof of Ted Cruz playing basketball

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) responded with a photo of Duke's Grayson Allen (an uncanny resemblance): "what do I win?"

NBC's Benjy Sarlin
Already seeing that old familiar pattern of Trump staff leaking concerns in press, allies warning him through cable news hits.



President Trump is in Washington, D.C. The House and Senate are out for the GOP retreat. 

Today–Friday: GOP retreat in Philadelphia. President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May are scheduled to speak. 

11 a.m. EST: President Trump took his official portrait photo.

1 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sean Spicer gives the daily press briefing.

1:25 p.m. EST: President Trump visits the Department of Homeland Security.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks with Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R). Bryant is seeking federal disaster relief after tornadoes struck parts of his state.

7 p.m. EST: BuzzFeed Brews at the Newseum will feature Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas). Live-stream:

Tonight: Motivational speaker Simon Sinek will interview Vice President Pence at the GOP retreat. 

Lunchtime Thursday: President Trump is expected to address lawmakers during the GOP retreat. 

Noon Thursday: The Cato Institute is holding a discussion on the economics of healthcare reform.

2 p.m. EST Thursday: The Hoover Institution is holding an event titled "Immigration Facts: Migrants, Walls, Refugees and Enforcement."

Friday: Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway speaks at the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. Live-stream:



6 p.m. EST: MSNBC's Greta Van Susteren interviews Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on "For the Record with Greta."

10 p.m. EST: ABC's David Muir sits down with President Trump for his first one-on-one interview since taking office.



Today is National Irish Coffee Day!

HOW DOES ONE NOT CLICK ON THIS HEADLINE?!: Via CNN, "Hmm, this moon looks remarkably like the Death Star." It's true! It does. Photo:

And because you read this far, here's a baby giraffe taking its first steps:


To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: