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 - RNC finance chair Steve Wynn accused of harassment | Clinton reportedly shielded 2008 staffer accused of misconduct | Trump touts economy in Davos speech | Trump calls report he ordered Mueller's firing 'fake news' | Mnuchin throws snowball at CNBC host | Trump, DOJ set to clash over classified memo | French brawl over Nutella | Sunday Grammys preview



America is -- Open. For. Business.: Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, this morning, President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE declared that "America is open for business" during a speech in Davos, Switzerland, designed to tout his economic agenda to the world's business and political elite. Why this speech was newsy: It was the most anticipated event of the Davos forum after he won election by railing against "globalism" and free trade, pledges that rattled leaders around the world. How the crowd reacted: The crowd sat mostly silent as a more subdued Trump spoke. They offered a smattering of applause when he finished his speech.

THE VIEW FROM MARINE ONE: Via Agence France-Presse's Andrew Beatty, here's the view from the helicopter with President Trump. Watch:

AHH, SWITZERLAND ... DC'S NICE TOO, I GUESS: Here's another photo of the White House press flying through the Alps:


Happy Friday – The 2018 Winter Olympics officially start in two weeks! 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 and on Facebook.



Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE shielded a 2008 adviser from harassment accusations:

Via The New York Times's Maggie Haberman and Amy Chozick, "A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate was kept on the campaign at Mrs. Clinton's request, according to four people familiar with what took place. What happened to this adviser: Mrs. Clinton's campaign manager at the time recommended that she fire the adviser, Burns Strider. But Mrs. Clinton did not. Instead, Mr. Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job." About the adviser: Strider, a co-founder of the American Values Network, served as Clinton's faith adviser.

THEN IN 2016: Strider "was hired five years later to lead an independent group that supported Mrs. Clinton's 2016 candidacy, Correct the Record, which was created by a close Clinton ally, David Brock. He was fired after several months for workplace issues, including allegations that he harassed a young female aide, according to three people close to Correct the Record's management."

CONTEXT FROM A COLLEAGUE: The New York Times's Alexander Burns tweeted, "In addition to being a big story about harassment, this ... is another case study – of many – in Clinton refusal to discard associates regarded by many in her wide circle as toxic."

New accusations of sexual misconduct by Vegas mogul Steve Wynn: Via The Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Berzon, Chris Kirkham, Elizabeth Bernstein and Kate O'Keeffe, dozens of people have accused Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn of sexual misconduct. "Some described him pressuring employees to perform sex acts." Keep in mind: Wynn is the Republican National Committee's finance chairman.



SoOoOo, how 'bout that Russia investigation...?:

Via The New York Times's Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, President Trump attempted to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE last June over the Russia investigation, but stopped when the White House lawyer threatened to resign if Mueller was fired. SoOo, about that obstruction of justice investigation: Mueller learned this information recently while interviewing White House officials. Trump rationale: "Amid the first wave of news media reports that Mr. Mueller was examining a possible obstruction case, the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said."

TIDBIT FROM MAGGIE HABERMAN -- WHY ARE WE FINDING THIS OUT NOW?: "Asked why it took seven months for this to come out, The New York Times's Maggie Haberman, who broke the story, says, 'I'm a little surprised at how effective people in the White House were at lying to us...'"

HOW TRUMP REACTED -- AS YOU'D EXPECT: President Trump dismissed the reports that he tried to fire Mueller. "Fake news. Fake news. Typical New York Times. Fake stories," Trump told reporters in Davos, Switzerland.

HOW DEMOCRATS REACTED -- ALSO AS YOU'D EXPECT: Congressional Democrats are seizing on the report, tweeting reactions and warning against any effort to obstruct justice.

HOW SEAN HANNITY REACTED -- THIS GOT A LOT OF TRACTION ONLINEYou must watch this clip. Hannity confirms the story, then immediately transitions to a car chase -->





Hey, can I borrow that shirt of yours that I really like? No, sorry, but I have a pair of beautiful stainless steel scissors you could borrow:

Via The Washington Post's Paul Schwartzman, the Trumps requested to borrow a Van Gogh painting from the Guggenheim, but the museum curator said no. "The curator's alternative: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet -- an interactive work titled 'America.'" Keep in mind: The curator has been critical of the president. Photos of the golden loo:

Just announced -- trading in those pink 'Planned Parenthood' blazers for Democratic blue: 

Cecile Richards announced this morning that she would step down as president of Planned Parenthood and turn toward helping Democrats win seats in the 2018 midterms. She said in a statement: "Leading Planned Parenthood over the last 12 years has been the honor of my lifetime. I will be leaving the organization well-positioned to serve and fight for our patients for a century more. Every day we see the incredible power that grassroots voices can have -- there has never been a better moment to be an activist."

This should be ugly:

Via The Hill's Katie Bo Williams, the fight over the release of a classified memo alleging FBI misconduct has set up a potentially bitter clash between President Trump and the Justice Department. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd -- a Trump appointee -- wrote in a letter to congressional leaders that releasing the memo publicly would be "extraordinarily reckless" and endanger national security.  But the White House has signaled tacit support for the move and it's widely expected that the president, who has previously claimed that the Obama administration "wiretapped" his campaign, will permit the release of the document. How so:

Trending -- you have to watch this is if you haven't already:

Burger King created a video to explain net neutrality using ... you guessed it ... Whoppers! Watch:





Tidbit about the secretary of State: 



The House and Senate are out. President Trump is on his way back from Davos, Switzerland, and Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

10:25 a.m. EST: President Trump left Switzerland and is coming back to the White House.

12:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence participates in a National Republican Senatorial Committee lunch at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Saturday: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Op-ed: The Anti-Defamation League's Jonathan A. Greenblatt offers five action items for Congress on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

One year ago tomorrow: President Trump announced his initial travel ban. Throwback:

Sunday: The 60th annual Grammys. Nominees and predictions on who will win:

Jan. 31: There will be a rare "super blue blood moon." What to know:



This morning: President Trump addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Livestream:

1:30 p.m. EST: Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE gives remarks on national security and immigration. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST Monday: The Washington Post is hosting a State of the Union preview. Speakers include: White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayChristie says he was unable to reach Trump on Jan. 6 Watchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election Ethics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act MORE; House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS expected to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics soon: report Pressure grows to remove Boebert from committees Lawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' MORE (D-Calif.); former DNC chair Donna Brazile; former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer; the American Conservative Union's Matt Schlapp; Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellGOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE (D-Calif.); Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown Senate dodges initial December crisis with last-minute deal GOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision MORE (R-W.Va.); and Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (I-Maine). Details and livestream:



Today is National Peanut Brittle Day. It's also National Green Juice Day.

A headline that needs a double take: 

Via The Washington Post's James McAuley, "Chaos spreads in France as Nutella-loving customers [brawl] to get 70 percent off." Omg, this excerpt: "They are like animals," a customer said in the French press, describing the spectacle in one store. "A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand."

Trending -- this is THE most 2018 story:

Via BuzzFeed's Remy Smidt, here's what it's like for a parent to have an Instagram-famous toddler:

And because you read this far, here's a puppy finally realizing he can go down the stairs whenever he wants: