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: Trump's Davos challenge | Trump threatens to cut aid to Palestinians | Calls reports of tensions with British PM 'false rumor' | How John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE became a force on immigration | Trump says he would speak to Mueller | GOP fuels 'secret society' talk | Skiing icon Warren Miller dies 



National Lampoon's Davos Adventure: President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE has arrived at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But even before he got there, his attendance was overshadowed by the elephant in the room: Trump seems to share little common ground with the globalization-friendly Davos crowd. How so: He has pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and dismissed the Paris climate accord. More generally, he advocates an "America First" economic policy, a phrase redolent of protectionism. That leaves some of the president's more populist allies perplexed by the decision to go to Davos.  http://bit.ly/2BrwI4h


SO GREAT THAT WE EVEN ORDERED FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS: During a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May this morning, President Trump insisted his relationship with May is "really great," pushing back on what he called a "false rumor" of tensions between the U.S. and the United Kingdom. "We're on the same wavelength, I think, in every respect," Trump said. Why this is newsy: Trump and May have had *very* public differences over the last year, sparring over counterterrorism strategies and intelligence leaks. Trump has also publicly clashed with British officials. http://bit.ly/2ncjCmd

ESCALATING THINGS WITH THE PALESTINIANS: President Trump threatened to cut even more aid money to the Palestinians if they don't come to the table for peace talks with Israel. "That money is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace," Trump said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuhttp://bit.ly/2FcZWG6

WOW SWITZERLAND IS BEAUTIFUL: Here's a clip of Marine One flying to Davos. Watch: http://bit.ly/2FdUJxK 

It's Thursday.  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.



Secret weapon in the West Wing:

When John Kelly was brought in six months ago to be President Trump's second chief of staff, his mission was clear: bring order to a White House plagued by infighting and leaks. But Kelly's influence has grown beyond that. Lawmakers say he's also a force behind the scenes, pushing Trump to stick to his campaign vows -- particularly on immigration, his signature campaign issue. http://bit.ly/2GfIItf

IT'S PRETTY INTERESTING TO THINK OF THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE IN THESE TERMS: Via The Hill's Rafael Bernal and Mike Lillis, here are the 11 people who will shape the immigration debate: http://bit.ly/2DEt3pF



Trump: I'm picking up what you're putting down: President Trump said yesterday that he would be willing to speak with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE under oath for the Russia investigation. When: Trump said he expects to speak with Mueller in two to three weeks but his lawyers are working out the specifics. But wait: http://bit.ly/2n9Fkbk

Secret society? What secret society? I hate not knowing secrets ... or societies: Republicans are floating the idea that FBI and Justice Department officials formed a "secret society" that held meetings in which they plotted to undermine President Trump and his administration. How so: They are seizing on a text message between two FBI agents that may have been a private joke. http://bit.ly/2GgBZiL

Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation may be almost done: Via Bloomberg's Chris Strohm and Shannon Pettypiece, "Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving at a far faster pace than previously known and appears to be wrapping up at least one key part of his investigation -- whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, according to current and former U.S. officials." What we also learned: "Trump lawyer John Dowd released a document [today] that he said showed 'how much this president has done' despite the 'false media drumbeat of obstruction.'" According to the memo: "The White House has turned over 20,000 pages of documents." https://bloom.bg/2nangNm

OP-ED: Former congressional aide Brent Budowsky says the attacks against the FBI show the GOP is panicking as signs point to an imminent blockbuster from special counsel Robert Muellerhttp://bit.ly/2rIrAsW



A sad day for skiers:

Legendary snow sports filmmaker Warren A. Miller died at his Seattle home at the age of 93. "A quick-witted, self-taught filmmaker who first filmed his own scenes for an annual self-narrated ski movie shown in small venues, Mr. Miller produced more than 500 adventure-sport films. His name, carried forward in a sports-media company, Warren Miller Entertainment, from which he was disassociated in his later years, became synonymous with snow sports across North America." His obituary in the Seattle Times: http://bit.ly/2BtYYTC

Latest on the Larry Nassar fallout:

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon resigned later yesterday amid criticism over her handling of a sexual abuse scandal. Though she initially received support from school officials, Simon faced mounting pressure in recent days to step down from alumni and state lawmakers. In her resignation letter: "As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable," Simon wrote. "As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger. I understand, and that is why I have limited my personal statements." http://bit.ly/2n7rJQW

Read her resignation letter: http://bit.ly/2rHTKEk

Cover of the Detroit Free Press today: It lists the names of more than 100 women who accused USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse.



This clip has been getting a lot of traction:


Yeah, this is a lot...:


Ooooh fancy!



The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, and Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

This morning: President Trump participated in meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump attends a reception hosted by World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab.

1:40 p.m. EST: President Trump has dinner with European business leaders.

1:45 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on nominees.



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

Sunday: Piers Morgan interviews President Trump.

Jan. 30: President Trump's State of the Union address.



Today is National Irish Coffee Day. It's also National Opposite Day if you feel like annoying the people around you.

What a brilliant idea -- rides, Mickey Mouse ice cream and a kidney!:

Via CNN's Natalie Johnson, a man with kidney failure -- functioning at 5 percent -- was worried he'd run out of time, so he made a T-shirt saying that he needs a kidney and walked around Walt Disney World. The best part: It actually worked! Full story and photos of the shirt: http://cnn.it/2DCe3nS

And because you read this far, here's a bird photo-bombing the weather segment of the news in the most entertaining (albeit terrifying) way possible: http://on.mash.to/2DMQbBH