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The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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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 Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking -- Issa retiring | Trump blasts judge after ruling blocks him from ending DACA | Trump unleashes on 'Sneaky' Feinstein for releasing Fusion GPS testimony | What a Trump–Congress immigration deal could look like | Dunkin Donuts cuts 10 menu items

BREAKING

Issa out.: Rep. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaMidterms in 2018 become most expensive in history Dems target small cluster of states in battle for House Painting of Trump with past GOP presidents hung up in White House MORE (R-Calif.) just announced he will not seek reelection this year. Why this is big: It increases Democrats' chances of flipping his swing district. Keep in mind: Issa barely won reelection in 2016 by just more than half a percentage point (!) in a San Diego-area district that went for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Republicans cancel airtime in swing Vegas district The Democratic Donald Trump is coming MORE by about 7 points. http://bit.ly/2COQo3j

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OH AND I SHOULD ALSO MENTION: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia 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 Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP MORE, also a Republican from California who represents a district won by Clinton, announced on Monday that he won't seek reelection this year either. Why the numbers are worrying Republicans: Democrats need to flip at least 24 seats to win back the House majority.

It's Wednesday -- Half! clap. Way! clap. There! 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.

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Can you hear that noise? I think it's the sound of White House officials collectively screaming into a pillow: Late last night, a judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The judge's ruling: The Department of Homeland Security's "decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise." What this means for now: DACA recipients who failed to renew their status by last year's deadline will have a chance to submit renewal applications. But the decision does not allow new applications to be submitted. http://bit.ly/2Eti2TV

REACTIONS: 

From White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders -- what you'd expect: "We find this decision to be outrageous, especially in light of the President's successful bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on the same day," she said in a statement. http://bit.ly/2Er7CUX

*Bracing for the president's Twitter feed*: This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE tweeted about the decision. "It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts." http://bit.ly/2CP3xJX

Why the timing is a little awkward: During a lengthy bipartisan meeting at the White House yesterday, President Trump and congressional negotiators outlined parameters of a potential immigration deal. http://bit.ly/2CY0EdB

The deal -- four key components: 
1. Protect an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 DACA recipients from deportation
2. Beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico border
3. Change the weighting given to family relationships when granting legal status 
4. Reform the diversity visa lottery program.

 

LATEST WITH THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Picture this. It's 2078 and we're still talking about the dossier. *screams internally*: Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein would 'absolutely' reopen Kavanaugh investigation if Dems win Senate Feinstein’s Dem challenger: 'It’s time that we stop biding our time and biting our tongue' The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns MORE (D-Calif.) unilaterally released more than 300 pages of an interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, whose firm commissioned the controversial dossier on President Trump. The gist of what we learned: The dossier's author, a former British intelligence officer named Christopher Steele, said the FBI already had "other intelligence" backing up claims in the dossier when he met with an agent in September. http://bit.ly/2CVdcSv

FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM SIMPSON'S TESTIMONY:

1. Glenn Simpson defended the veracity of the dossier.
2. According to Simpson, dossier author Christopher Steele "severed" his relationship with the FBI after a questionable New York Times story.
3. The partisan rift on Senate Judiciary Committee is growing wider.
4. The criminal referral against Steele remains a mystery.
5. There may have been a dossier-related death.

Details for each: http://bit.ly/2CVdcSv

LAST NIGHT: Michael Cohen, a lawyer for President Trump, has filed lawsuits against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS over the dossier. http://cnn.it/2mcnbIy

This a.m. -- I can just feel that the characters were typed a little harder than usual: On Feinstein releasing the testimony, President Trump tweeted: "The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!" http://bit.ly/2CM2HgP

And on the Russia investigation: He tweeted: "The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!" http://bit.ly/2EuwMlJ

OP-ED: Former federal prosecutor Gregory J. Wallance says Trump's presidency is hanging on whether he can be honest under oath. http://bit.ly/2D0CgYU

 

LATEST WITH THE OLYMPICS

Snaps for the U.S. of A.: South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier today said that President Trump deserved "big credit" for kick starting talks between North and South Korea. In his words: "I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, I want to show my gratitude," Moon said, according to Reuters. "It could be a resulting work of the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure." http://bit.ly/2ErTivl

ON WHETHER TRUMP WOULD TALK WITH NORTH KOREA: Via The Hill's Jordan FabianPresident Trump told South Korea's leader today that he's open to direct talks with North Korea over its nuclear program, according to the White House.  http://bit.ly/2AN8zVt

Also...:

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Hahah, well played...:

 

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is visiting the White House this afternoon.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Trump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington MORE.

2 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway and holds an expanded bilateral meeting.

2:15 p.m. EST: First votes in the House.

2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate will vote on nominations.

4 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with 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.

4:30 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Defense: Trump shifts tone on Saudis | New pressure from lawmakers | Trump: 'Certainly looks' like Khashoggi dead | Pompeo gives Saudis days to wrap up investigation | Trump threatens military action on border to stop migrants On The Money: Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi summit | Consumer bureau to probe controversial blog posts on race | Harris proposes new middle-class tax credit Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure MORE.

4:30 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House.

Moved to February: White House officials told senators that the release of President Trump's long-awaited infrastructure package may slip to next month. When it was promised: Early January, When it could now be released: After Trump's inaugural State of the Union address on Jan. 30. (Via The Hill's Melanie Zanonahttp://bit.ly/2mf78K3

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

3:20 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a joint press conference with Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2DfsTRW

6:30 p.m. EST: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) gives his final State of the Commonwealth address. Livestream: http://cs.pn/2Er2Arx

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate Day! It's also National Oysters Rockefeller Day

I wonder how Casey Affleck feels about this --> http://bit.ly/2DfU13m: Via Boston.com, Dunkin Donuts is removing 10 items from its menu. The list: http://bit.ly/2moUqt5

Fascinating read -- I. Love. Dolphins.: The Guardian's Anuschka de Rohan writes about the behaviors of dolphins and why "the more we study dolphins, the brighter they turn out to be." http://bit.ly/2AMLYrV

And because ily guys, here's a goose chasing a dog around a rock. I have my money on the goose. http://bit.ly/2CMN1d3

 

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

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