The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking - Nebraska approves Keystone route | Trump to declare N. Korea state sponsor of terror | Second woman accuses Franken of inappropriate touching | On Capitol Hill, few name names on harassment | Trump hits back at father of UCLA player | DeBlasio headed to Iowa | WH turkeys staying at the Willard | DC's hidden bars



Uh, oh -- there's another Sen. Franken story: Via CNN's MJ Lee, a second woman has said Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenMeet the man poised to battle Dems from the White House Minnesota GOP Senate candidate compared Michelle Obama to a chimp in Facebook post Former campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer MORE (D-Minn.) acted inappropriately around her. This new allegation: 33-year-old Lindsay Menz said Franken grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo with her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. "As her husband held up her phone and got ready to snap a photo of the two of them, Franken 'pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,' Menz said. 'It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.'" http://cnn.it/2mKPp0D

Franken's reaction to CNN: "Franken said he did not remember taking the photo with Menz and that he felt 'badly' that she felt disrespected. 'I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don't remember taking this picture,' Franken said. 'I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.'" http://cnn.it/2mKPp0D

Keep in mind: Franken was sworn in to the Senate in July 2009. From The Associated Press story that day: "The Minnesota Democrat's swearing-in marked the end of an eight-month political and legal struggle and drew thunderous applause in the Senate chamber. His presence gives Democrats 60 votes, enough to thwart possible Republican filibusters." http://nbcnews.to/2zU4TV5

INTERESTING READ: The Hill's Cristina Marcos writes how on Capitol Hill, "staffers and lawmakers with stories to tell seem uniquely reluctant to identify their harassers." How that dynamic has come to exist: http://bit.ly/2zYEDH9

It's Monday. 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 cmartel@thehill.com, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



Seems like a good time to make this announcement...: The Keystone XL pipeline has been approved to run through Nebraska, clearing a key hurdle in the years-long fight to build the project. Why the timing isn’t ideal: The decision came after a rupture in TransCanada’s Keystone system spilled an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil in South Dakota last week, an incident that rankled opponents of the XL expansion. http://bit.ly/2j8tCej

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, Craig Stevens, spokesperson for Grow America’s Infrastructure Now, argues that spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil. http://bit.ly/2j9UAlO



I really hope they take this designation as a compliment: This morning, President Trump said he will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move designed to further isolate the rouge nation for its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Context: North Korea was taken off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror in 2008 during nuclear negotiations with the George W. Bush administration. http://bit.ly/2jKc0cJ



President Trump should add 'ethics spokesman' to his Twitter profile: President Trump slammed Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, saying the NFL should suspend him next time he doesn't stand for the national anthem. Trump's tweet: "Marshawn Lynch ... stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down." http://bit.ly/2hGV56s

It's a thankless job, huh?: Yesterday, President Trump lashed out at the father of a UCLA basketball player who downplayed Trump's importance in getting his son released from shoplifting charges in China. Trump tweeted: "Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!" http://bit.ly/2mKxXJJ

BACK STORY: LaVar Ball's son LiAngelo Ball and two other players faced potential jail sentences for shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store while the UCLA basketball team was on a trip to China. Trump then reportedly spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the players were released. Trump then questioned whether the players would thank him. The players subsequently held a press conference to apologize for the incident and thank Trump. http://bit.ly/2B6jvhZ

What, can a guy not visit Iowa these days for its beautiful state parks and expansive farmers' markets?!: Via the Des Moines Register, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) will headline a political fundraiser in Iowa next month. Details: De Blasio will be the featured guest at Progress Iowa's "holiday party" fundraiser on Dec. 19 in Des Moines. http://dmreg.co/2izRbgt



I bet these two could rack up quite the room service and pay per view tab...: The White House turkeys have arrived in Washington, D.C., for the pardoning ceremony, set for Tuesday. Ooh la la: The turkeys are staying in the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.


Oh wow:



Congress is o-u-t, out.

Today: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden: I hope Dems don't move to impeach Trump if they retake the House Biden: Trump administration 'coddles autocrats and dictators' Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage MORE turns 75 years old.

Today: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. http://cnn.it/2zTRwV2

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting in the White House.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonOvernight Energy: Political appointee taking over as Interior IG | Change comes amid Zinke probe | White Houses shelves coal, nuke bailout plan | Top Dem warns coal export proposal hurts military HUD political appointee to replace Interior Department inspector general Affordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign MORE.

1:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington Turkey-Russia Idlib agreement: A lesson for the US MORE and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyTrump mulling State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert for UN envoy: report Iran says it killed 'mastermind' behind military parade attack Haley slams China over 'internment of civilians' in first public remarks since announcing resignation MORE.

6 p.m. EST Tuesday: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks at a New York University event. Details: http://bit.ly/2mIVQRL

Tuesday: The White House turkeys' pardoning ceremony.



2 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2iArGvr



Today is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day.

I guess it's not a peppermint mocha world that we're just living in: Here's what Starbucks holiday drinks look like around the world. I'm lookin' at you, Vanilla Nougat Latte in Indonesia. http://bzfd.it/2zlaS6d

This is an unfortunately brilliant marketing strategy...: Via The Washington Post's Holley Simmons, here's a list of D.C.'s hidden bars, ranked from the easiest to the most difficult to get into. http://wapo.st/2z1J0Q9

And because you read this far, here's what it takes for one dad to get three triplets and a toddler in their pajamas. I'm extremely impressed. http://bit.ly/2AWTQrd


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