The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
© Screenshot from video - Melissa Macaya/The Washington Post

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump lashes out over Mueller indictments | Charges come at vulnerable time for Trump | Crunch time for GOP tax plan | Trump eyes signing tax bill by Christmas | Kelly sparks controversy with Civil War remarks | Girl dressed as Melania meets first lady | Best pets in Halloween costumes

Melania Trump's reaction is exactly how we all feel about this year: Via The Associated Press's Darlene Superville, President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE and first lady Melania Trump greeted 6,000 children and adults for the White House Halloween party yesterday.

The scene: "Spooky music played over loudspeakers. Machines cranked out fog. Pumpkins carved with the likenesses of past presidents decorated the south entrance of the White House. Black spiders hung from webs spun between the portico's columns."

Video of the president and first lady reacting to some of the costumes: It's pretty funny.

This girl wins Halloween: One girl met the first lady dressed as Melania Trump visiting Texas after the hurricane. Remember the high heel debate?? The photos are incredible:

Oh this is great: Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosColleges, universities seeing rise in sexual assault claims, lawsuits Support for educational choice continues to grow Stand with veterans instead of predatory for-profit colleges MORE dressed as Ms. Frizzle from "The Magic School Bus." Photo:

Favors the Trumps gave out: "Pastry Chef Sarah Tanenbaum shows just a few of the 4,000 Halloween theme cookies being prepared at the White House, for Halloween." Photo of her preparing all the cookies:

This is a pretty realistic costume, tbh: "[That time when] you're pretty sure it's a costume but also you're not ready to rule out other possibilities. Photo:

It's Tuesday -- Happy Halloween! Keep sending those adorable pictures of your pets and children in their Halloween costumes -- they're making my week. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and Halloween candy to and on Facebook.



THIS A.M. -- well, if Paul Manafort's lawyer said there was no collusion!: President Trump lashed out at the media this morning over the developments in Robert Mueller's investigation. His tweets: The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manafort's lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS! I hope people will start to focus on our Massive Tax Cuts for Business (jobs) and the Middle Class (in addition to Democrat corruption)!"

GEORGE? GEORGE WHO? OH YOU MEAN MY BESTIE...?: Via The Washington Post's Callum BorchersPresident Trump is trying to distance himself from George Papadopoulos amid his guilty plea for making a false statement to FBI investigators. What press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said about Papadopoulos yesterday: "The only interaction I'm aware of that deals with this individual was him reaching out and being repeatedly denied." Yeah, but: In March 2016, Trump told The Washington Post's editorial board that "he's an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy," when asked to reveal any foreign policy team members.


This could have been timed a little better for Trump: Special counsel Robert Mueller released several bombshells on Monday, and they exploded at an especially vulnerable time for President Trump. Bad timing: Three polls in the past week have shown Trump hitting all-time lows with the public. Now: The question is whether the new developments from Mueller will drive those numbers even lower. Good analysis from The Hill's Niall Stanage:

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, the Hoover Institution's Paul Gregory argues that Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group highlight the swamp culture in Washington, D.C.



New tax reform update -- Just now in ambitious timeframes: President Trump just had a meeting on the Republican tax plan with business leaders. The line that's getting traction: "The really historic tax cuts. There's never been anything like this in the history of our country."

From Breitbart's Charlie Spiering: "Big Business [hearts] Tax Cuts Trump meeting with the following groups today" List of who President Trump is meeting with:

From CNN's Manu Raju: "Trump says he wants tax bill to clear House by Thanksgiving, Senate by Christmas."

Get excited for tax day tomorrow: Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Naomi Jagoda, "Senate Republicans say they are unified on a controversial tax policy change. The change: It involves changing state and local tax deduction to pay for reducing individual and corporate tax rates. Why the GOP Senate is on the same page: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord's lawyer: Hearing doesn't appear to be designed for 'fair', 'respectful' treatment GOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw MORE (R-Ky.) is helped by the fact that there isn't one Senate Republican who represents the nation's largest high-tax states -- California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois." Where it might be a problem: "It's more of a problem in the House, where 35 Republicans hail from those four states, enough to defeat a tax-reform package if Democrats vote en bloc against it, as expected." Details:

One special counsel, two special counsels, red special counsel, blue!: White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE yesterday said that a special counsel should be appointed to investigate an Obama-era uranium sale and Democrats' roles in funding a controversial opposition research dossier on President Trump. His reasoning:

ANOTHER NEWSY PART OF THE INTERVIEW: John Kelly weighed in on the Confederate statue debate, suggesting that the Civil War was caused by a "lack of an ability to compromise." In his words: "There are certain things in history that were good, and other things that were not so good," Kelly said. "The lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand."



Happy Halloween!


Donald Trump Jr. then joked:


The Instagram post Trump Jr. linked to:


Ooh la la

The back story -- usually the official portrait is one of the first duties of a president. This took much longer than usual:



The Senate is in. The House just met at noon.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a legislative foreign policy lunch.

12:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate recesses for their weekly caucus luncheons.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Jordan wants Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE (R-Wis.).

6:30 p.m. EDT: Votes in the House.



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

2 p.m. EDT: Executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter testify before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on extremist content and Russian disinformation on their platforms. Livestream:

Oh fun fact: Facebook will say that 126 million people could have seen Russian election content.

Op-ed: In an op-ed for The Hill, James M. Ludes and Mark R. Jacobson, who co-authored a book on Russian influence in the U.S., argue why they think the Facebook hearings can spark a real debate in Congress about Russia.



Today is Caramel Apple Day.

Daaaaaang, Barack!: Professional golfer Jordan Spieth reveals that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJudge denies bid to move lawsuit over Trump national monument rollbacks to Utah Tomi Lahren to former first lady: 'Sit down, Michelle' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins MORE beat him in a round of golf. Video of Spieth explaining how it happened

And because it's Halloween, here are some of the funniest pets in costumes:

From Twitter, here are a few of my favorites:

Flynn the dog is not too pleased to be dressed up as his nemesis, the UPS man:

A dog dressed up as Simba from The Lion King:

George the cat is dressed up as a taco:

This pup is a scary pirate:


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