12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump document development raises eyebrows 

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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. 


The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey and Jacqueline Alemany report that after the National Archives sought former President Trump’s presidential records for more than a year, Trump personally packed 15 boxes of presidential records to be returned to the National Archives and Records Administration in January. 

Trump then asked his lawyer, Alex Cannon, to declare that all materials requested by the agency had been returned. Trump’s lawyer declined because he was unsure whether that statement was actually true. 

“As it turned out, thousands more government documents — including some highly classified secrets — remained at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club.”  

The thousands of government documents that were not returned then became the subject of the grand jury subpoena in May and the subsequent August FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.  

Read the full Washington Post report 

The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch explains how that detail of former President Trump personally packing the initial 15 boxes of presidential records may strengthen the government’s case if they decide to prosecute. Explainer of why this new reporting is important

It’s Wednesday. ‘Tis another day in D.C. without sun. Womp. 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.

🚀 News this morning 

This, well, won’t be great for gas prices

Via The Hill’s Zack Budryk, “The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its oil-exporting allies announced a 2 million barrel per day cut in oil production Wednesday, bucking months of pressure from Washington to increase production and potentially spiking gas prices again.”  

What does this mean?: It will essentially cut 2 percent of global supplies. 

For context in the U.S.: “The cut announced by OPEC+ is about twice the amount the U.S. has been releasing daily from the strategic petroleum reserve.”  

How this could *help* Russia: “An OPEC+ production cut could … benefit Russia by propping up the Kremlin’s own petroleum revenues before European Union sanctions are set to take effect in December.”  

What we know about the announcement and its ramifications globally 

Via The New York Times’s Jim Tankersley, “Biden administration officials have spent more than a week in discussions with their counterparts from oil-producing countries in the Middle East, seeking to minimize production cuts by OPEC Plus, the group led by Saudi Arabia, in an effort to keep global oil prices from rising drastically.” The full story

Just now — To the International Space Station and beyond!:

NASA and SpaceX just launched a crew to the International Space Station. Watch

🗳 On the campaign trail 

A campaign issue that could help Republicans win the Senate — crime:

For example — in Pennsylvania: “Republicans are seizing on high-profile incidents in the Philadelphia area, including the recent ransacking of a Wawa store and the shooting of five students outside a high school last month. Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, has been forced to play defense by erasing statements of support for the Black Lives Matter movement from his website.” 

And in Wisconsin: “Republicans are trying to link Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic Senate nominee, to former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was recalled from office in June amid growing voter frustration over rising crime and homelessness.”  

How this could materially help Republicans in November, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton 

Another weapon in the GOP arsenal — Biden’s gaffes

“Republicans are seizing on recent gaffes from President Biden, putting a spotlight on his slip-ups to attack Biden’s competency ahead of both the midterms and a 2024 presidential race.” 

Like, last week: When Biden spoke at an event, he asked whether a congresswoman was in attendance. That congresswoman died in August.  

Keep in mind — Biden has been making gaffes for years: “As a presidential candidate in 2007, then-Sen. Biden apologized after describing then-Sen. Barack Obama as ‘the first mainstream African American’ presidential candidate ‘who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.’”  

But Biden’s older age is fueling questions by Republicans. 

More examples of Biden’s recent gaffes, via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Amie Parnes

📍 In Russia 

Let’s talk hypotheticals here:

AP/Sergei Guneyev via Sputnik

Russian President Vladimir Putin has the world on edge about whether he would use a nuclear weapon amid his losses in Ukraine.

“While the administration says there are no signs that the Kremlin has made moves toward a nuclear strike — and that Washington has not changed its own nuclear position — experts say the potential U.S. options could turn into a very real scenario given Russia’s floundering military campaign and an increasingly frustrated Putin.”

The Hill’s Ellen Mitchell spoke with foreign policy experts about what a U.S. response to a Russian nuclear attack in Ukraine might look like. 

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN it’s “unlikely but possible.” Esper’s reasoning 


“Petraeus said in a new interview that Russia can still inflict destruction upon Ukraine, but Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot reverse Ukrainian gains in the four regions Moscow recently annexed.” 

Petraeus told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble: “I think he’s literally out of moves.” 

He elaborated: “He’s trying all these different desperate actions, but the fact is, the reality that confronts Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine is that Ukraine has a vastly more capable and larger force than does the country that is more than three times their size. So the reality on the battlefield now is desperate for Putin. There’s literally nothing he can do. It is irreversible.” More of Petraeus’s predictions 

Op-ed on the Ukraine war

🦠 Latest with COVID 


Cases to date: 96.2 million 

Death toll: 1,054,443 

Current hospitalizations: 20,686 

Shots administered: 619 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.9 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

I would love to see a behind-the-scenes video of the photoshoot

The Wall Street Journal’s Natalie Andrews tweeted, “The photos attached to the Tim Ryan fundraising emails are something else.” The photos with captions 

Keep in mind: Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) is running for Senate.  

Tidbit this morning: Ryan “raised more than $17 million for his Senate bid over the last three months, a sum nearly twice as large as his campaign’s previous best.”

On tap 

The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Florida. Vice President Harris is in Connecticut. 

  • 9:45 a.m.: Harris left for New Britain, Conn. 
  • 10:15 a.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden left for Fort Myers, Fla. Photo of their departure
  • 1 p.m.: The Bidens survey the damage from Hurricane Ian in a helicopter. 
  • 2 p.m.: The Bidens receive a briefing on the response and recovery efforts and then meet with residents and small business owners impacted by the storm. 
  • 4:40 p.m.: The Bidens leave for Washington, D.C. 
  • 7:10 p.m.: The Bidens returns to the White House. 
  • No longer happening on Oct. 12: The debate between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist has been postponed due to Hurricane Ian response efforts. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 11:30 a.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell gaggled with reporters aboard Air Force One. Watch 
  • 1:15 p.m.: Harris participates in a reproductive rights conversation with Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Alexis McGill Johnson and Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) Livestream 
  • 3:15 p.m.: Biden delivers remarks on supporting Florida in the recovery and efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Ian. Livestream

🎃🍎 In lighter news 

Today is National Pumpkin Seed Day and National Apple Betty Day. How festive. 

McDonald’s is now selling adult Happy Meals. I just thought you should know.:

Getty images

McDonald’s is selling boxed meals for adults that even include a toy. 

The name: “The meal has an odd name — the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box — that’s based on the fashion brand collaborating with McDonald’s on the promotion.”  

What’s included in the box?: 10 Chicken McNuggets or a Big Mac, fries, drink and a toy. 

Details and photos

And to leave you smiling, I would like for you to see Rory’s Halloween costumes. Rory keeps losing costume contests, but she’s a winner in our hearts. 

^ Make sure your sound is on.

Tags 12:30 Report 2022 midterm elections Biden Chesa Boudin gas prices Georgia Herschel Walker Inflation John Fetterman Mandela Barnes Nuclear weapons OPEC Pennsylvania Putin Russia Trump documents

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