The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking Sessions gets grilling before Congress - Pushes back on calls for Clinton special counsel | What to know about Trump Jr.'s correspondence with WikiLeaks | Ryan says Roy Moore should step down | Moore poses tough choice for Trump | National Pickle Day



Sessions on the hot seat: Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE is testifying today before the House Judiciary Committee. Livestream:


Big turnout of lawmakers: "Unusually heavy turnout of members for Sessions hearing....." (From Politico's Josh GersteinPhoto:

Wow, try keeping your poker face for this: Here's a photo of Sessions sitting for his hearing while being swarmed with cameras:

Hear that, boss?!: From Sessions: "All of you have been in a campaign. But most of you have not participated in a presidential campaign. And none of you had a part in the Trump campaign. It was a brilliant campaign in many ways. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one."

Read Sessions' opening statement:


On a potential Clinton special counsel: Sessions pushed back on the immediate need for a second special counsel to investigate former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump defends indicted GOP congressman GOP lawmaker says he expects to be indicted over FBI investigation Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on MOREHis reasoning: It would take "a factual basis that meets the standard of a special counsel" for the Justice Department to make such an appointment, he said. More on that:

On the Russia investigation: Sessions addressed reports that he knew about the activities of former Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, who both met with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential race. What Sessions said: "Frankly, I had no recollection of this until I saw these news reports ... I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting," Sessions said in part.

The judiciary chair is nahhht pleased: House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Bottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden MORE (R-Va.) hinted as his dissatisfaction with Sessions in the first five minutes (!) of the hearing. What Goodlatte wants: A second special counsel to investigate the Obama Justice Department's probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State. In Goodlatte's words: "Numerous matters connected to the 2016 election remain unresolved. ... You have recused yourself from matters stemming from the 2016 election, but there are significant concerns that the partisanship of the FBI and the Department has weakened the ability of each to act objectively."

On Roy Moore: "I have no reason to doubt these young women," Sessions said about the allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

MEANWHILE -- SPECIAL COUNSELS ARE SO TRENDY THESE DAYS: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering naming a special counsel to lead an investigation into a list of matters involving Hillary Clinton. What they would investigate: the Obama-era sale of Uranium One, Clinton Foundation donations, the unmasking of American identities by the intelligence community and former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the investigation into Clinton's private email server.

Tidbit: Via The Hill's John Bowden, during a private meeting with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro reportedly tore into Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his refusal thus far to appoint a special prosecutor to probe former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the Uranium One sale.

It's Tuesday. 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.



The story everyone is talking about: Via The Atlantic's Julia Ioffe, President Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., occasionally exchanged private messages with WikiLeaks before the 2016 presidential election. How: Direct messaging on Twitter. "The transparency organization asked the president's son for his cooperation--in sharing its work, in contesting the results of the election, and in arranging for Julian Assange to be Australia's ambassador to the United States." Full story:

WHAT ELSE WE LEARNED: Once the story published, The Wall Street Journal's Byron Tau noticed that President Trump tweeted about the publication of hacked emails belonging to then-Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta about 15 minutes after WikiLeaks asked Trump Jr. to. Screenshots:

ONCE THE STORY BROKE -- TRUMP JR. TWEETED: Trump Jr. confirmed the story by tweeting screenshots of his entire chain of messages with WikiLeaks. Screenshots of his interactions:

COREY LEWANDOWSKI WEIGHS IN: President Trump's first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said it wasn't his place to say whether Donald Trump Jr. communicated with WikiLeaks. Watch:



BREAKING -- 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 steps in: It's a no from me: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore to step aside amid mounting allegations of sexual misconduct. Ryan's reasoning: Ryan said that the allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Moore "are credible," adding that "if he cares about the values and the people who claims to care about, then he should step aside."

Keep in mind: A fifth woman came out Monday to accuse Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her. Her age at the time: 16.

This teaser could make a great next episode of "Real World: West Wing." Just sayin': Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Jordan FabianPresident Trump is set to play a decisive role in the Republican battle over Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore -- if he chooses to do so. Trump, who so far has declined to directly address the allegations against Moore, is facing pressure from both sides. On one hand: Senate Republicans signaled on Monday that they want nothing to do with Moore and will work to prevent his seating. On the other hand: Key parts of Trump's political base, however, are sticking with Moore.



NEW DEVELOPMENT -- the risk of a government shutdown is way more fun around the holidays: Republicans are considering postponing the Dec. 8 spending bill deadline to delay the fight over a possible government shutdown. So by my calculation: This will be right around Christmas. What else has this timeline: Tax reform! Republicans want to pass their final tax reform bill by Christmas.

Can I preorder one, like, right now?: Via Axios's Mike Allen, "Best-selling author Michael Wolff has spent months inside President Trump's West Wing (often unsupervised!), listening to senior officials pour out real-time accounts of their internal battles, maneuvering and frustrations. The result is a juicy, explosive book, 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,' to be published Jan. 9 by Henry Holt." How we know the West Wing is nervous: Allen reports there's already a frenzy to find out what Wolff knows. 




Video of the Cleveland Cavaliers on the New York subway.



Back story and more info from the House hearing today:


Oh hello there! Lafayette Park is right outside of the White House:



The House and Senate are in.

Today: The 10th annual Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. Schedule: Highlights:

Today: President Trump attended the East Asia Summit. He is now en route for Washington, D.C.

Fun fact: "President Trump has arrived in Hawaii. USAF says by the time Trump lands tonight at Joint Base Andrews, he and Air Force One will have traveled 20,295 miles on this trip (not counting detours for scheduling purposes)." (From NPR's Scott Horsley)

Photo of his calculation:

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. The Senate's schedule today:

1 p.m. EST: First votes in the House.

4:40 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO council meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

5 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

8 a.m. EST Thursday: The Hill is hosting an event on managing for and delivering an Alzheimer's breakthrough. Details and how to RSVP:

9:30 a.m. EST Thursday: The Brookings Institution is holding an event titled "Strengthening military readiness: The role of military families in 21st century defense." Details and how to RSVP:



10 a.m. EST: Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Livestream:

Released today: Snapchat's Peter Hamby spoke with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) for their first joint interview. Preview: How to watch: On Snapchat.



Today is National Pickle Day. It's also National Spicy Guacamole Day!

Opening Thursday­ -- you'll know where to find me: Via The Washington Post, a rooftop ice rink is opening on top of the Watergate Hotel. The best part: You can skate up to a bar and order cocktails:

Opening Friday ­-- this is beautiful!: You can now have breakfast at Tiffany's! A new café is opening on the fourth floor of the Tiffany & Co. flagship store in New York. Photos:

And because you read this far, here's a very opinionated swan letting everyone else know how it feels:


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