The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking -- Franken resigns in defiant speech | Dems seek moral high ground in sexual harassment fight | Why Schumer is in a tricky situation over shutdown, immigration | Lawmakers expected to pass two-week spending bill | Fallout from Trump's Jerusalem decision | Best-rated cookie in every state | 6-year old's letter to Santa goes viral



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 is out: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) just announced that he is resigning his Senate seat over allegations of groping and sexual misconduct. On the allegations: Franken said some of the allegations against him are "simply not true" and that others he remembers differently. The big line -- timing of his resignation: "Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate." He also said: "I am proud that in my time in the Senate I have used my power to be a champion for women." http://bit.ly/2jqlyGJ

This was a bold line: "There is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office." http://bit.ly/2BTyegE

On his future: "I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice." He says he will remain an activist. http://bit.ly/2j0lW1z

From the room: "The room was silent after Franken finished speaking. His party lined up to shake his hand and hug him. Several of the female Democratic senators who had called for his resignation wiped their eyes." (From The Guardian's Lauren Gambino) http://bit.ly/2AlESzp

Tidbit after his announcement: Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients MORE (D-Ill.) "at end of Franken speech: I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him and thanked him for what he's done." (From Fox's Chad Pergram) http://bit.ly/2jr7GvD

Watch Franken's announcement: Here's the video: http://bit.ly/2jr698R

How many women have accused Franken: Eight. http://bit.ly/2jqNQ3P

Colleagues turned quickly: More than 30 Democratic senators called for Franken to step down. http://bit.ly/2BJoPHO

Tidbit: "Bob Packwood resigned in a floor speech. Here's how LA Times described it: Packwood announced his intention to resign in a somewhat rambling speech during which he touted his achievements, reminisced about his decades in the Senate, and finally, wept. He did not give a date for his departure." From Politico's Steve Shepard: http://bit.ly/2BIGuzs

WHAT HAPPENS NOW: From PBS Newshour's Lisa Desjardins:

"- MN's Gov. appoints a temp senator. (Gov. Dayton = Dem.)

- The state holds a special election Nov. 2018.

- That means both MN Senate spots will be on the ballot next year. (Klobuchar up for [reelection].)"  http://bit.ly/2AiP0sx

FRANKEN'S LIKELY REPLACEMENT: Via The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) is likely to tap Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) to replace Franken. http://strib.mn/2B12AAu

Hmmmmm, interestingggg: "Franken says Minnesota deserves a senator who can focus on the state's needs with all 'her' energy." http://bit.ly/2B0oWlB

CONTEXT -- STEPPING BACK FROM ALL OF THIS: The Hill's Amie Parnes and Mike Lillis explain how Democrats rushed to push out Franken less than a week before the Alabama Senate special election, where GOP nominee Roy Moore could be elected with his string of sexual misconduct allegations. http://bit.ly/2AWzp1x

It's Thursday. The attack on Pearl Harbor happened 76 years ago today and the final Apollo mission began 45 years ago today. 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.



Free idea for House GOP leaders -- quietly play this Taylor Swift song on repeat over the House speakers, so quietly members may not even realize --> 'I don't know about you, but I'm feeling (Dec.) 22!' http://bit.ly/2kwQvfF: The House seems to be in good shape to prevent a government shutdown. Today: The House is set to vote on a two-week spending bill to keep the government open through Dec. 22. I.e.: Buying them more time with the added pressure of being right before Christmas. The Senate is expected to follow. http://bit.ly/2B0n2kT 

HOW THE SHUTDOWN THREATS HAVE PUT SCHUMER IN A TRICKY POSITION: Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey MORE (N.Y.) has to walk a fine line on the immigration fights and the risk of a government shutdown. http://bit.ly/2jqo9jU

BREAKING — It’s a no from us: House Democrats will oppose a short-term spending bill when it comes to the floor Thursday afternoon, Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiElection 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 Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel Pelosi calls Trump’s desire for border wall a ‘manhood issue’ MORE (D-Calif.) said hours before the vote. Added pressure for Republicans: GOP leaders need to gather the 218 votes they’ll need to pass the measure largely on their own — a feat they’ve been unable to accomplish on a long list of budget bills going back to 2011, when they took the House gavel. http://bit.ly/2kAojc0



Major protests -- we did see this coming: Via CNN, dozens of people have been injured today in the West Bank in protests after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What happened during the protest: Palestinian protesters used slingshots and threw rocks. Israeli forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. http://bit.ly/2nAVBst

WHAT SPARKED THIS: Yesterday, President Trump announced the U.S. would not only recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital but said the U.S. Embassy would be relocated there from Tel Aviv. Officials warned of potential violence: The State Department warned U.S. citizens to avoid Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank over fears of protests and violent reaction to the president's announcement. http://bit.ly/2ACohpZ

IF YOU MISSED TRUMP'S ANNOUNCEMENT: Here are five takeaways to know from President Trump's Jerusalem speech: http://bit.ly/2BKdaIN

VIDEO OF THE PROTESTS: Yikes, they're burning an American flag. http://bit.ly/2jqP5zR


Fake it 'till you make it, right?: Via The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, Missy Ryan and Karen DeYoung, several White House advisers said President Trump did not completely grasp the ramifications of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. http://wapo.st/2Bdu1HH

Excerpt: "Several advisers said he did not seem to have a full understanding of the issue and instead appeared to be focused on 'seeming pro-Israel,' in the words of one, and 'making a deal,' in the words of another. ... The debate came to a head at a White House meeting Nov. 27 ... Trump repeated his earlier assertions that he had to follow through on his campaign pledge, seemingly irritated by objections over security and the break with previous policy. 'The decision wasn't driven by the peace process,' one senior official said. 'The decision was driven by his campaign promise.'"

Which advisers were in favor of the decision: Vice President Pence, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, 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 and major donor Sheldon Adelson.

Which advisers were against the decision: 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 Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Joint Chiefs chairman to meet with Saudi counterpart Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' despite 'Democrat' remark MORE

OP-ED: In an op-ed for The Hill, The Atlantic Council's Mirette F. Mabrouk argues that Trump is letting his campaign promises dictate the Israeli embassy decision. http://bit.ly/2iDNupA



Trump asks to delay accepting transgender military recruits: The Trump administration is asking a federal judge to delay a requirement to begin accepting transgender recruits to the military on Jan. 1. The administration and the plaintiffs have asked for a decision by noon Monday. Back story: In July, Trump tweeted that he would ban transgender people from the military. In October, a judge blocked the ban while a lawsuit against it moves through the courts. The judge said the military must accept recruits by Jan. 1. http://bit.ly/2ADSTVM



Omg, guys. I'm crying I'm laughing so hard:

This letter has gone viral for obvious reasons.


Oh and....


Ugh. (This video of the California flames has been getting a lot of traction):

Here are the latest updates, including a new map of what areas could be affected: http://lat.ms/2BGZf6j


This is worth watching:



The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are both in Washington, D.C.

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on Interior Assistant Secretary nominee Joseph BalashThe Senate's schedule today: http://bit.ly/2nG65a4

1:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel in the Oval Office.

1:30 p.m. EST: First votes in the House. 

2:15 p.m. EST: President Trump signs a proclamation for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

3 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with congressional leadership.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton in the Oval Office.

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

7:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump host a Hanukkah reception. Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence attend.

7:30 p.m. EST Friday: President Trump is holding a rally in Pensacola, Fla. It's not Alabama -- *cough, Roy Moore, cough* -- but it's preeeeetty close.

Dec. 16: Nog Fest at the new D.C. Wharf. Details: http://bit.ly/2BSUcAo



1:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives the daily press briefing. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2AjTKhN



Today is National Cotton Candy Day!

Warning: You will not just want, you will need a chocolate chip cookie after reading this: Via Insider Food, here's a list of the best chocolate chip cookie in every state. Photos of each: http://read.bi/2j4f6Il

What a beautiful concept: Via NBC's "Today," Finlandia has created wine glasses and beer mugs made entirely out of cheese. Pretty sure I had a dream about this once. A set of the glasses is a mere $5,000. Video: http://bit.ly/2nHpkjE

And because you've been too productive today, here's a baby hamster munching a pumpkin seed. http://bit.ly/2BerNI3


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