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.

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Latest on Mueller probe - Manafort indicted on 12 counts, surrenders to FBI | Trump says allegations happened 'years ago,' insists no collusion | Former Trump team adviser pleads guilty to lying to FBI | Ryan says indictments won't derail tax reform | Trump to lunch with Pence, Sessions



Has anyone noticed that Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortJuan Williams: Will the GOP ever curb Trump? Nadler seeks interviews with DOJ prosecutors that left Stone case Stone judge under pressure over calls for new trial MORE looks strangely similar to Shooter McGavin from 'Happy Gilmore?' --> TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is being charged with 12 counts and has surrendered to the FBI. What Mueller is accusing Manafort of: Laundering more than $18 million. Live blog of updates:

The 12 charges: The counts include conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, misleading the government about the nature of their foreign lobbying efforts and making false statements, as well as seven counts of failure to file the appropriate government documents for foreign financial accounts. Read the document with the official charges:

What's next: Manafort is scheduled to appear before a federal judge at 1:30 p.m. today.

Interesting tidbit on where some of the money went: "Indictment depicts lifestyle of populist campaign chief: $849,000 to one clothing store, $520,000 to another, $934,000 to antique rug store." (From The New York Times's Peter Baker

Video of Manafort walking into the FBI office this morning:

Because the details can get confusing: Via CNN, here's a web of Manafort's ties to Russia and Russian interests. Graphic:

Did Manafort see this coming?: Yes. In September, a Trump adviser said Manafort expected to be indicted. "[Roger] Stone said he had heard about the possible indictment from his lawyers, who had heard it from Mr. Manafort's lawyers."

Indictment vs. arrest -- so you have the context: An indictment is the formal statement of charges -- i.e. the accusation.  An arrest is the physical act of taking a suspect into custody. Manafort voluntarily surrendered.

The traction this story is getting: According to Google Trends, Paul Manafort is the top story (h/t CNN's Hunter SchwarzGraph of peoples' interest -- wow:

Happening today: President Trump invited Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama postpones March 31 GOP Senate runoff Biden has broken all the 'rules' of presidential primaries The Hill's Campaign Report: Defiant Sanders vows to stay in race MORE to join his weekly lunch with Vice President Pence. But via CNN's Kevin Liptak, the lunch "was previously scheduled [and] isn't related to Russia investigation."

Throwback -- oh how time flies: "Throwback to Manafort kicking off the RNC, with Spicer snapping a pic in the corner." (From Politico's Kyle CheneyPhoto:


It's Monday -- Halloween is tomorrow! Please, please keep sending me pictures of your children and pets in funny costumes. You know I live for this stuff. 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.



Manafort isn't going at it alone -- Rick Gates also surrenders: Via The New York Times's Matt Apuzzo, Paul Manafort's longtime junior business partner Rick Gates also surrendered to the FBI today. Gates is often referred to as Manafort's protégé. What he's accused of: Transferring at least $3 million from offshore accounts and making false statements.

If you don't know much about Gates: Here's a profile of him from The New York Times from June titled, "How the Russia Investigation Entangled a Manafort Protégé."

Keep in mind about Gates: He was ousted from the pro-Trump group America First Policies in April.

BREAKING -- a third Trump associate has also been charged: One of President Trump's former campaign advisers has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in the Russia investigation. Who: George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFree Roger Stone A tale of two lies: Stone, McCabe and the danger of a double standard for justice California Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat MORE, a 30-year-old foreign policy adviser. When this happened: He pleaded guilty earlier this month. Why we didn't know until now: The court filings were unsealed today.

Filling in some of the details: Here's how Papadopoulos's charges relate to the campaign:

What happened after his arrest: "Following his arrest, defendant PAPADOPOULOS met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions." (From Politico's Josh Dawsey

Ouch: From The Hill's Will Sommer, "Papadopoulos got played" Screenshots that explain:

Context on the date: "The FBI interview where Papadopolous lied about his Russia contacts came on the same day, Jan. 27, Trump asked Comey for a loyalty pledge." (From Vianovo's Matthew Miller



THE REACTION WE WERE ALL WAITING FOR -- PRESIDENT TRUMP: At 10:25 a.m. EDT, right around the time the charges were announced against the third campaign associate, the president tweeted, "Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????" He then added: "....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"

FROM Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MOREHouse Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was asked about Manafort on a Wisconsin radio station. His response: "I really don't have anything to add, other than nothing's going to derail what we're doing in Congress." 

FROM SCHUMER: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement: "The President must not, under any circumstances, interfere with the special counsel's work in any way. If he does so, Congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally, and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues."

FROM A GOP LAWMAKER: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) tweeted that Republicans need to continue to support special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE in his investigation into Russian election interference. Tweets: "Months ago I & many other Republicans vowed to support Mueller investigation & allow it to work its way through process to get the facts ... In light of today's indictments we must continue to support and allow the integrity of the process to work."

FROM A DEM SENATOR: During an interview on "CBS This Morning," Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Minn.) said the surrender of President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort could just be the start in the ongoing probe into ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

"The issue is even if he is charged with something unrelated to Russia, it could just be the beginning."

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, Brent Budowsky gives his opinion on the blockbuster move by special counsel Robert Mueller.



This BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe Pelosi administration Coronavirus spending will come amid huge deficits Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges MORE profile has really ruffled some feathers: Politico's Tim Alberta published an extensive interview with former House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe Pelosi administration Coronavirus spending will come amid huge deficits Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges MORE. It's worth reading.

Some of the highlights:

Wow, he used a literal knife: Rep. Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungDon Young dismissed 'beer virus,' told seniors to 'go forth with everyday activities' Pelosi stands firm amid calls to close Capitol Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE (R-Alaska) once pinned former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) against a wall and held a 10-inch knife to his throat during a heated debate about earmarks. Boehner responded by staring Young in the eyes and saying, "F--- you."

On whether Obama ever snuck a smoke: Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said former President Obama is "scared to death" of his wife, Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaLobbying world Michelle Obama hosts from-home voter registration party with DJ D-Nice Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents MORE. Boehner was asked whether he's ever seen the former president sneak a cigarette. "Oh no. No no no," he said. "He's scared to death of his wife. Scared. To. Death."

Hahaha, this excerpt: "On several occasions, Debbie [his wife] warned him to stop telling me things; when he ignored her, she would put a couch cushion over my recording device. The highlight was Boehner telling me a story about George W. Bush--and prefacing it by saying, 'I shouldn't tell you this.' [Boehner's wife] Debbie, opening a bottle of red in the kitchen, barked: 'Then don't!'" Boehner then continued his story.

This week in Congress -- Wednesday's the big day: Via The Hill's Cristina Marcos and Jordain Carney, House Republicans plan to unveil their long-awaited tax overhaul legislation to the public this week, setting the wheels in motion to get it through the chamber in the coming weeks. Key days: The bill is expected to be released Wednesday. A panel markup is expected next Monday. Republicans have an ambitious timeline of passing this by Thanksgiving and enacting it by the end of the year. What else is happening in Congress this week:



Party like a rock star:


Omg, this is the greatest:

Keep reading for an amazing video of President Trump meeting the children after the press briefing.



The Senate meets later today. The House is back tomorrow.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisIs coronavirus the final Trump crisis? Pentagon seeks to reconsider parts of B cloud contract given to Microsoft over Amazon Democrats press FEC pick to recuse himself from Trump matters MORE.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate has roll call votes on judicial nominees.

This week: President Trump plans to announce his pick for chair of the Federal Reserve.

Wednesday: House Republicans are expected to release their highly anticipated tax bill.

November 7: The Hill is hosting an event on the opioid epidemic and strategies for prevention. Featured speakers: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus American citizen released from Lebanese prison, returning to US MORE (D-N.H.). Details and how to RSVP:



1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream:

5:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus Trump defends million in Kennedy Center funding in coronavirus stimulus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents MORE participate in Halloween at the White House. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday: The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a subcommittee hearing on extremist content and Russian disinformation online. Livestream:



Today is Candy Corn Day. And tomorrow is National Caramel Apple Day!

I like Southwest, but this sounds terrible: Southwest Airlines announced it plans to start having live concerts (!) in the air during some of its flights.

I know I reference this a lot, but it feels just like Adam Sandler in this 'Wedding Singer' scene -->

I laughed out loud at this: President Trump invited children of reporters who were dressed in their Halloween costumes into the Oval Office. My favorite line: "I cannot believe the media produced such beautiful children." Well played, Mr. President... The video is pretty funny:

And because it's been a chaotic day and we need something light, here's a cow who was rejected by his herd and now thinks he's a dog:


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