12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Bombshell dropped in toss-up Ga. Senate race

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically. 

TALK OF THE MORNING

The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger reported that Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker urged a girl he dated in 2009 to get an abortion and reimbursed her for the procedure. 

Proof: “[The woman] supported these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a ‘get well’ card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker. [She] said there was a $125 difference because she ‘ball-parked’ the cost of an abortion after Googling the procedure and added on expenses such as travel and recovery costs.” 

To corroborate the story: “The Daily Beast independently corroborated details of the woman’s claims with a close friend she told at the time and who, according to the woman and the friend, took care of her in the days after the procedure.” 

Why this is particularly newsworthy: Walker has been running as an anti-abortion Republican who supports a full ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.

Photo of the “get well” card — The Daily Beast also includes links to his signature for comparison. 

Keep in mind: The Hill has not independently verified this report. 

HOW HERSCHEL WALKER REACTED TO THE REPORT
Walker denied the report. “It is a flat-out lie, and now you know how important this seat is,” Walker told Fox News’s Sean Hannity.  

Walker also tweeted that he plans to sue The Daily BeastRead Walker’s full statement on the story and his plans to sue 

Watch Walker’s full denial 

THE SAGA GETS EVEN UGLIER — WALKER’S ADULT SON IS NOT ON HIS DAD’S SIDE
23-year-old Christian Walker laid into his father on Twitter. 

Walker’s adult son tweeted last night: “I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us. You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.” Read Christian Walker’s follow-up tweet 

Herschel Walker responded by tweeting: “I LOVE my son no matter what.”  

So then Christian posted a video response this morningWatch 

HOW CLOSE IS THE GEORGIA SENATE RACE?
It’s very close. Here are some of the recent polls, via RealClearPolitics

It’s a chilly, dreary Tuesday in the DMV. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. 

🥊 In Congress 

Don’t cross me, Joe: 

The short-term government funding bill was passed last week excluding Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) energy permit proposal. 

Why?: Republicans killed the proposal, in part because they are mad at Manchin.  

It’s personal for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — here’s why: Republicans opposed Democrats’ sweeping Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). McConnell had vowed to withhold GOP support for an unrelated semiconductor bill if Democrats’ major spending moved forward. It looked like Dems’ bill was dead, so 16 Republicans voted to back the semiconductor bill. Then just hours after that bill passed, Manchin announced a deal with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and passed the IRA 

So, McConnell basically got played. 

“McConnell, always seen as a savvy Washington insider, had suffered a major strategic defeat. But he would get his revenge.” 

So, here’s the thing: As part of the Schumer-Manchin deal, Schumer promised Manchin a vote on an energy permit reform proposal. That proposal was tagged onto the government funding bill. But Republicans essentially said nope — and without their support, it could have led to a government shutdown. So, Manchin’s proposal was nixed from the bill. 

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton explains what happened behind the scenes

🗳 On the campaign trail 

HELPFUL LIST — HERE ARE THE VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINES IN ALL 50 STATES
Compiled by The Hill’s Sarakshi Rai and Rachel Scully 

HOW LIKELY ARE THE SCENARIOS FOR THE MIDTERMS?

Politico’s election forecast 

FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast 

🐘 In the GOP 

Trump is suing CNN:

Former President Trump is suing CNN in federal court for defamation and is seeking $475 million in punitive damages. 

Why?: “[Trump’s] attorneys allege in the filing that CNN ‘has undertaken a smear campaign to malign the Plaintiff with a barrage of negative associations and innuendos, broadcasting commentary that he is like a cult leader, a Russian lackey, a dog whistler to white supremacists, and a racist.’” 

^ Plus: “It also cited anchors, personalities and pundits on CNN using the term ‘Big Lie’ to refer to Trump’s repeated false statements about the 2020 election and voter fraud as evidence of the outlet attempting to associate him with Adolf Hitler.”  

How difficult will it be for Trump to win the suit?: “In order to prove defamation, public officials and other public figures must prove journalists acted with actual malice or reckless disregard for the truth in their reporting, a high legal bar to clear given First Amendment protections granted to the free press under the Constitution. The New York Times, for example, has not lost a defamation case in more than 50 years.” 

More on what to expect in this lawsuit, via The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo 

Read the lawsuit 

ANOTHER FEUD BREWING — ‘TRUMP’S DEATH WISH ATTACK ON MCCONNELL SETS ALARM BELLS RINGING’
From The Hill’s Niall Stanage 

📖 In other news 

This book is worth reading:

The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, one of the leading reporters who has been covering former President Trump closely for years, published a book today titled, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.” 

Buy the book 

The New York Times’s David Leonhardt spoke with Haberman about “what she’s learned, about how much the media should cover Trump and about what’s likely next for him.” Read the Q&A 

‘Trump’s origins in a New York world of con men, mobsters and hustlers’Read a Washington Post book review from Sean Wilentz 

Rest in peace, Loretta Lynn:

Loretta Lynn, the beloved singer and songwriter whose seven-decade career broke down barriers for women in country music, died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She was 90. Lynn’s publicist confirmed her death to Rolling Stone.”  

Read Rolling Stone’s description of her life and career

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS

Cases to date: 96.2 million 

Death toll: 1,054,195 

Current hospitalizations: 11,024 

Shots administered: 619 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.9 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🔭 Notable tweets 

It’s hard to fathom that these photos are real:

The NASA Webb Telescope’s Twitter account posted, “X-ray *and* heat vision? It might sound like something out of a comic book, but that’s what happens when you combine the abilities of [Chandra Observatory] and Webb, as seen in these new composite images.” The photos 

On tap 

The House and Senate are out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

  • 10:15 a.m.: Biden and Harris received the President’s Daily Briefing. 
  • Noon: Biden and Harris have lunch together. 

All times Eastern. 

📺 What to watch 

  • 11:25 a.m.: Harris delivered remarks at the Freedman’s Bank Forum at the U.S. Department of Treasury. Watch 
  • 1 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream
  • 3:30 p.m.: Biden and Harris attend a meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access and deliver remarks. Livestream 

🍭 In lighter news 

Today is National Taco Day — on a Taco Tuesday!! It’s also National Cinnamon Roll Day! 

CNET has a list of taco specials today to celebrate. And if you want to celebrate with a cinnamon roll, Cinnabon has some specials today

And to leave you with a personal recommendation for a product, here’s a vacuum that is quite expensive but totally worth it.

Tags 12:30 Report 2022 midterm elections Campaign Trail CNN Donald Trump Georgia Georgia Senate race Herschel Walker Herschel Walker Joe Manchin

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