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: Sessions interviewed for Mueller probe | DOJ launches investigation into missing FBI texts | Shutdown winners and losers | Trump mocks CNN's 'Crazy Jim Acosta' | Latest on Kentucky high school shooting | DC Restaurant Week

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

Major Russia development -- How I imagine Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSenate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley Rosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes MORE looked when he turned on the news today: Via The New York Times's Michael S. Schmidt, investigators for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE's probe interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. Why this is big: This is the first known Mueller interview with a member of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE's Cabinet. Keep in mind: Last March, Sessions recused himself from 2016 election matters. Why: His move came "after it was revealed that Mr. Sessions had not told Congress that he met twice with the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time, Sergey I. Kislyak, during the campaign." http://nyti.ms/2DuDnMT

LAST NIGHT -- JUST GET A TEENAGE GIRL INVOLVED. YOU'LL FIND THOSE MISSING TEXTS IN NO TIME: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last night that the Justice Department will investigate missing text messages sent between two FBI agents critical of President TrumpIs this surprising? Not really. Many Republican lawmakers have been eager to recover the exchange. Why the GOP have been focused on this conversation: They believe it is evidence of FBI bias against Trump in the Russian investigation and probe into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference Comey in op-ed after IG report: 'Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson' Trump tops list of most tweeted about politicians in 2019 MORE's email server. http://bit.ly/2DAzdHr

ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT -- IT'S A NO FROM ME: Via Axios's Jonathan Swan, FBI Director Christopher Wray threatened to resign after Attorney General Jeff Sessions pressured him to remove Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeHorowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us Fox's Chris Wallace: IG report headline is 'It didn't find the things that Bill Barr and Donald Trump alleged' DOJ watchdog expected to say FBI erred, but absolve top leaders of anti-Trump bias: report MORE. Wray reportedly told Sessions that he would resign if McCabe was removed from his post. http://bit.ly/2rw4GVz

SO FOR SOME CONTEXT -- TIMELINE: 

"1/17: Jeff Sessions interviews with Mueller. 
1/18: House intel committee votes to share classified FISA memo with full House. 
1/20: Sen. Johnson writes letter about 5 months of missing texts btw FBI officials.
1/22: Sessions vows to investigate missing texts.
1/23: Trump tweets about missing texts." 
(Via Politico's Kyle Cheneyhttp://bit.ly/2rxSEL7

OP-ED: Former Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinRemembering leaders who put country above party Strange bedfellows oppose the filibuster Listen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home MORE (D-Mich.) argues that Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russia's influence on the election. http://bit.ly/2E2aJ6M

It's Tuesday -- Washington sure has calmed down since the government reopened. 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.

 

BREAKING

Kentucky high school shooting: One person is dead and multiple other people have been shot at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky. A suspect is in custody. From student Greg Rodgers: "The suspect opened fire as students were heading to classes." What we know: http://nbcnews.to/2n4BRdn

About Benton: "Benton is a city of about 4,300 in western Kentucky, about 120 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee."

GOV. MATT BEVIN TWEETED: "Tragic shooting at Marshall County HS...Shooter is in custody, one confirmed fatality, multiple others wounded...Much yet unknown...Please do not speculate or spread hearsay...Let's let the first responders do their job and be grateful that they are there to do it for us..." http://bit.ly/2n3w7jS

 

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN WRAP UP

You gotcha winnahs. And you gotcha losahs: Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, as the government prepares to reopen, here are the winners and losers of the first big congressional controversy of 2018:

Winners: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments GOP senators worry Trump made 'problematic' concessions in trade deal MORE (R-Ky.), Senate centrists, Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHouse Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea Duncan Hunter pleads guilty after changing plea Trump campaign steps up attacks on Biden MORE (R-Wis.) and 2020 Democratic contenders.
Losers: Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants MORE (D-N.Y.), the left and Dreamers.
Mixed: President Trump

Reasons for each: http://bit.ly/2E1Qia4

On the receiving end of the inevitable Trump shutdown tweet: Drum roll please -- CNN's Jim Acosta! President Trump mocked "Crazy Jim Acosta," saying even the correspondent from "Fake News CNN" agrees that Democrats "gambled and lost" over the government shutdown. "Thank you for your honesty Jim!" Trump tweeted, while apparently misquoting Acosta's report on the fallout from the shutdown. http://bit.ly/2Dwns0A

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Wait, so are you saying that falling asleep in work meetings is frowned upon...?:

President Trump has reportedly harshly criticized Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during a series of Oval Office meetings and has humiliated him in front of his colleagues. Oh and!: Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossPelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Space race is on: US can't afford congressional inaction in this critical economic sector Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants MORE has apparently fallen asleep in meetings. A former senior administration official told Axios that Ross is "good until about 11 a.m." http://bit.ly/2n5tKhv

THIS A.M. -- WILBUR? WILBUR ROSS?: Via The Washington Post's Danielle Paquette, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was a no-show at his panel this morning during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. http://bit.ly/2rsD4QW

^^SO IN John DingellJohn DingellDemocratic lawmakers, 2020 candidates pay tribute to Conyers Energy efficiency cannot be a partisan issue for Washington Polling director: Young voters swayed by health care, economy, gun control MORE FASHION
Former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) retweeted the story, adding, "Somebody go wake him up." http://bit.ly/2DuPF7Q

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Lol, this is painful:

Ok, this is cool:

 

ON TAP:

The Senate is in. The House is out for the week. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Pence is en route to D.C. from Israel.

Today–Friday: The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. President Trump is scheduled to attend later in the week. Details and agenda: http://bit.ly/2n5u3sn

1:30 p.m. EST: President Trump signs Section 201 actions raising tariffs on imported solar panels.

12:45 a.m. EST Wednesday: Vice President Pence arrives in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday: "Secretary of Agriculture Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerduePlan to lift roadless rule in Alaska's Tongass national forest threatens economy House Democrat asks USDA to halt payouts to Brazilian meatpacker under federal probe From state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA MORE rolls out the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Bill." (h/t AP_planner) http://bit.ly/2Dto5aY

A week from today: President Trump's State of the Union address. 

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

This morning: The Washington Post held an event on the media's role in modern democracies. Speakers included: Fox News' Bret Baier, The Poynter Institute's Indira Lakshmanan, The Knight Foundation's Jennifer Preston, Gallup's Frank Newport, the Center for Democracy and Technology's Nuala O'Connor, New York University's Jay Rosen and PBS's Judy WoodruffLivestream: http://wapo.st/2G8QvZH

3:30 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing.

Friday: Former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks at an American Enterprise Institute event about the future of school choice. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2BlpfDI

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Pie Day! -- not to be confused with National Pi Day in March. http://bit.ly/2ryMtGD 

USA USA USA -- what a brilliant development: Via NBC Sports, the U.S. Olympic team will wear heated uniforms for the Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang. I. Want. One. Photos: http://bit.ly/2DFvVSt

Happy Restaurant Week!!: This week is Washington, D.C.'s Restaurant Week. That means many restaurants are offering 3-course brunch ($22), lunch ($22) and dinner ($35). List of restaurants: http://bit.ly/2kj6egC

And because you made it this far, here's a kid dressed in a dog costume who's having a really bad day, but still insists on performing in the school play: http://bit.ly/2n3kdXi