The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
© Getty / How I imagine President Trump when he clicked “send” on that tweet.

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump busy tweeting on first day back | Hits NY Times, ex-Clinton aide | Takes credit for air-safety record | Pakistan summons US envoy after Trump tweet | Congress returning to packed January | Five big fights for 2018 | Target's big redesign


...and how 'bout those TSA lines?: This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report Kasich: Wouldn’t want presidential run to ‘diminish my voice’ MORE took credit for the safest year on record in commercial aviation. He tweeted: "Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news -- it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!" What's unclear: The president did not detail what steps he took to improve airline safety. His highest-profile initiative -- privatizing air traffic control -- stalled in Congress.

WHAT SPARKED THIS TWEET: A new study that recorded zero deaths on commercial passenger jets worldwide. Keep in mind: There has not been a fatal passenger airline crash in the U.S. since 2009.

REACTION: Social media mocked Trump's tweet relentlessly.

It's Tuesday -- that dumpster fire of a year is over. Happy 2018!! 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.



'Fine, if you still want to tweet that in 2018, go for it': This morning, President Trump offered his congratulations to the new publisher of The New York Times, A.G. SulzbergerHe tweeted: "The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, 'to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.' Get impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent 'sources,' and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won't have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL."

AND A LITTLE BIT ABOUT IRAN: President Trump said the Iranian people are "finally" taking action against the country's "brutal and corrupt" rule, again warning its leaders that "the U.S. is watching." He tweeted: "All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their 'pockets.' The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!"

AND ROUNDING IT OFF WITH A SMATTERING ON THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN: President Trump appeared to call for the Justice Department to "act" on former Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters Former Facebook security chief: 'I failed to prepare my employer' on Russian disinformation Rand Paul: Facebook must 'convince conservatives they're not the enemy' MORE adviser Huma Abedin and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFeinstein requests Senate hearings with Whitaker, Sessions If Mueller were fired, could he — would he — go public? The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump says Florida races should be called for GOP | Latest on California wildfires | Congress set for dramatic lame duck MORE. He tweeted: "Crooked Hillary Clinton's top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others"


The rocket man references are back: President Trump this morning said that sanctions placed on North Korea are starting "to have a big impact. "Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not -- we will see!" What this tweet appears to be referencing: Potential talks next week between North Korea and South Korea. Seoul suggested the talks today after Kim delivered a New Year's speech in which he said he is "open to dialogue," according to reports.

Just as an FYI: The 2018 Winter Olympics, which South Korea is hosting, begin in 36 days.

Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerNBC News wins award for reporting on sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill Harvey Weinstein accused of sexually assaulting 16-year-old girl: reports NBC begins 'new chapter' post-'Megyn Kelly Today' following abrupt cancellation MORE's replacement is announced: Hoda Kotb will join Savannah Guthrie as a co-anchor of NBC's "Today." Keep in mind: Kotb has been filling in since Matt Lauer was fired.



Happy New Yeeear!: In President Trump's first tweet of the new year, he said that Pakistan harbors terrorists and accused the nation of "lies & deceit." His tweet: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"

HOW PAKISTAN REACTED: Pakistan's defense minister slammed Trump's tweet, saying the U.S. has given Pakistan "nothing but invective & mistrust."

UPDATE -- THE MIDDLE MAN IS SUMMONED TO EXPLAIN: The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan was reportedly summoned to the Pakistani foreign ministry to explain the tweet.

OP-ED: American Foreign Policy Council fellow Stephen Blank says we should expect 2018 to be a year of living dangerously as global tensions rise.



Welcome back to your shiny, new, functioning government -- lol: Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona and Scott Wong, lawmakers are returning to Washington without a clear strategy to tackle a massive pile-up of unresolved issues that are threatening a government shutdown in just three weeks. Why Republicans are probably having anxiety: Before leaving town for the holidays, Congress passed a temporary spending bill to keep the government's lights on until Jan. 19. But GOP leaders punted contentious fights over immigration, health care, national security and disaster funding into the New Year. I.e.: They're facing a potential crisis of their own making.

FIVE FIGHTS FACING CONGRESS IN 2018: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, here are the volatile issues coming up in Congress:

One of the major showdowns to expect -- immigration: Lawmakers were locked in closed-door immigration negotiations with top White House officials right before the holidays. Instead: Both chambers adjourned without a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Refresher on DACA: The program allows certain immigrants, often called "Dreamers," who came to the United States illegally as children to work and go to school here.

UPDATE THIS MORNING -- TRUMP STEPS INThe president tweeted, "Democrats are doing nothing for DACA -- just interested in politics. DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems, will start 'falling in love' with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS."

WHAT TO WATCH ON WEDNESDAY: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators introduce Trump-backed criminal justice bill On The Money: Senior GOP senator warns Trump against shutdown | Treasury sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | HQ2 deal brings new scrutiny on Amazon | Senate confirms Bowman to Fed board Senior GOP senator warns Trump against partial shutdown MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerFacebook reeling after damning NYT report Schumer warns Trump to stay out of government funding negotiations Schumer predicts Nelson will 'continue being senator' if 'every vote counted' MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDemocrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters Amazon fleeced New York, Virginia with HQ2 picks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker MORE (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDem lawmaker: 'There's plenty of competent females' that can be Speaker instead of Pelosi Marcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP MORE (D-Calif.) are expected to meet with top White House officials on Wednesday to discuss myriad policy fights, including DACA.

It's been 73 yeaaars. (It's been one year): Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, true to his style, President Trump's first year in office was tumultuous and unpredictable. As he begins his second year, what are some of the big things to look out for? 

  1. Does he hit the campaign trail in advance of the midterms?
  2. Does he keep faith with his legal team?
  3. Does he reach out to Democrats? 
  4. Where does he go next on foreign policy?
  5. Does he hold onto his base?

What we know about each:



This sums up today pretty well:


Headlines are important:

The full story: 



The House is out until next week. The Senate returns tomorrow. 

President Trump is back from Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida. What he did on vacation:

Tidbit: Yesterday was the 117th day that Trump has spent at one of his own properties since taking office.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaRene (Alex) Alexander AcostaThe false promise and limitations of pre-tax health accounts Strengthening retirement security for American workers DOL proposes rule for pooled small business retirement plans MORE.



2 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Buffet Day. It's also National Cream Puff Day.

Great. Wonderful. This is exactly what I need. I don't go there enough already...: Target is planning a major redesign of some of its stores. "The new Target store has two separate entrances; one for those making quick #TargetRuns, and the other for those who want to browse at a more leisurely pace." Photos of the new Target:

And because you made it this far, here's a terrier in a red dress riding around on a bright red scooter.

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