The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report

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

Sign up to receive the 12:30 Report right to your inbox: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

--> 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 - Train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck in Virginia | Gowdy announces retirement | Sights and sounds from State of the Union | Kelly says Nunes memo to be released 'pretty quick' | Trump caught on hot mic discussing memo | Woman denied emotional support peacock on flight | Courts try to decipher emojis

 

BREAKING

A train carrying Republican lawmakers to their GOP retreat in West Virginia collided with a dump truck in the crossing grade on Wednesday, according to several GOP aides and lawmakers. Injuries: Via The Associated Press, “White House: 1 dead ​... no lawmakers or staff seriously injured.” http://bit.ly/2nqVCwJ  Minor injuries?: Some members on the train "hit the deck” upon impact, causing a "couple of bumps and bruises,” according to aides, though it’s unclear if members will need to seek medical treatment for their injuries. http://bit.ly/2Fzvmqz

Dr. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallImproving maternal health with data and care coordination Trump tears into impeachment probe, witnesses in early Twitter spree Republicans storm closed-door hearing to protest impeachment inquiry MORE is a Republican member from Kansas:

It's Wednesday -- today is FINALLY the last day of January! 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

Gowdy -- I'm outta here: Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE (R-S.C.), the House Oversight Committee chairman, announced that he will not seek reelection and is leaving politics. In his words: "There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system." http://bit.ly/2FzuVfT  His full statement: http://bit.ly/2DPcdEB

Same with Rep. Bob BradyRobert (Bob) A. BradyIt's time to defund the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen Philadelphia Dem power broker indicted Americans connect with government at the library – so fix the Federal Depository Library Program MORE: "Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) will also not run for re-election. What to know: "His attorney tells us the decision is not related to the corruption charges filed against two of his aides last year. Brady has been the chairman of Philadelphia's Democratic Party since 1986, and was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1998." http://6abc.cm/2nvqb3l

 

LATEST ON THE MEMO

How I imagine us reading the secret memo --> http://bit.ly/2DPwmdA Chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE just said the White House will soon release a classified memo that Republicans say shows bias against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE in the Justice Department's Russia probe. In Kelly's words: "It will be released here pretty quick, I think, and then the whole world can see it," Kelly said during an interview on Fox News Radio. "This president wants everything out so the American people can make up their own minds." How long is it: Four pages.

OVERHEARD FROM TRUMP LAST NIGHT: President Trump was overheard following his State of the Union address last night telling a Republican lawmaker that the White House would "100 percent" release the memo. But those remarks appeared to contradict the White House on Tuesday, which insisted that Trump was still reviewing the document. http://bit.ly/2DS9iXq

NOT EVERYONE LIKES THAT PLAN: FBI Director Christopher Wray has reportedly warned the White House against releasing the classified GOP-authored House Intelligence Committee memo, saying that some of the information in the document is inaccurate. According to a Bloomberg source: Wray told the White House that the memo "paints a false narrative." Meanwhile: Republican lawmakers say the memo provides proof that the Department of Justice abused a surveillance program to unfairly target the Trump campaign. http://bit.ly/2EsXg8h

 

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM THE STATE OF THE UNION

The view from the Capitol last night: Wow that sunset over the Washington monument! http://bit.ly/2DPccjU

Haha, this kid's going places: Via The Washington Examiner's David M. Drucker, "My two year old just turned to the TV and yelled: 'Stop making noise.'" Are any of the TV networks hiring?? http://bit.ly/2DPnHnz

We have ALL been this person, Sen. Manchin: Video of Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinFormer coal exec Don Blankenship launches third-party presidential bid Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Overnight Energy: Senate eyes nixing 'forever chemicals' fix from defense bill | Former Obama EPA chief named CEO of green group | Senate reviews Interior, FERC nominees criticized on ethics MORE (D-W.Va.) clapping and starting to stand up, looks around, sees that none of his colleagues are and awkwardly sits back down. Watch: http://bit.ly/2rXrI7K

^^How Dem leadership reacted: "It's absolutely hysterical to watch Joe Manchin applaud on Trump's various economy lines & Schumer look down the aisle and shoosh him. this has happened twice now." http://bit.ly/2BI6BGi

What the designated survivor's night is like: Last night's designated survivor was Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueFrom state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA Overnight Energy: Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest| Democrats inch closer to issuing subpoenas for Interior, EPA records| Trump's plan to boost ethanol miffs corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest MOREWhat it's like to be the designated survivor -- it's actually pretty interesting: http://abcn.ws/2GxQyhW

Wow, this feels like you're in Statuary Hall last night: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, here's a 360-degree photo from last night. It's pretty cool to scroll through: http://bit.ly/2nqfhwN

...: Check out this CNN chyron last night. I have no words. http://bit.ly/2GzjXIk

Interesting tidbit if you're an NBA fan: "For those who care, last year Kevin Durant got hurt on Trump speech to joint session day. John Wall injury announcement was today." (Via The Hill's Ian Swansonhttp://bit.ly/2noYPwB

Yes, Melania was there, but...: Breaking with longstanding tradition, the first lady arrived at the State of the Union separately from President Trump. Why this is big: The first couple hasn't been seen together since New Year's Eve. http://cnn.it/2numdrG

Best SOTU insight I've seen so far: "Newt Gingrich tells Tucker Carlson he thinks SOTU will be about America." He was ... right! http://bit.ly/2DQZD7A

Tidbit from the chamber -- find your friends!: "Most Cabinet secretaries are talking among themselves, but Secretary Chao is visiting with senators." (Via Roll Call's Niels Lesniewskihttp://bit.ly/2DSfRxD

(Some background: Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoDemocratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Democratic lawmaker asks for probe of reports Chao favored Kentucky officials MORE, the Transportation secretary, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Impeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill 'Saturday Night Live' presents Trump impeachment hearings with 'pizzazz' of soap opera MORE.)

Tidbit about the black outfits: "Not all the women on the House floor are wearing black. But there are so many more Democratic women than Republican women -- so the effect is striking -- normally the Democratic side of the chamber is a relative riot of color -- now, you can spot the GOP women easily, most in red." (Via NBC's Kasie Hunthttp://bit.ly/2rSRSZf

One of the most powerful moments of the night: A North Korean defector with a powerful story got a standing ovation last night. He lifted the crutches his dad made for him in the air. It was emotional. Watch: http://cnn.it/2BHlN6i His back story if you missed it -- it's worth reading: http://cnn.it/2BHlN6i

Surprise guests: Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the parents of Otto Warmbier, who died after being held in North Korea.

How Democrats reacted -- as you'd expect: Democrats reacted with boos and hisses to a statement by President Trump on "chain migration" at his State of the Union address. How Trump reacted to the boos: He didn't. http://bit.ly/2nvjwpP

 

NEWS THAT CAME OUT OF THE SPEECH

Gitmo is here to stay: President Trump announced that he signed an executive order to keep the Guantanamo Bay military detention facility open. What's unclear: Whether the Trump administration will immediately begin sending new detainees to Gitmo. Why it's newsy: It reverses an Obama-era executive order to close the prison. How many inmates are there: 41. During Trump's address: "Terrorists are not merely criminals," Trump said. "They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are." http://bit.ly/2GvpDTQ

The Spark Notes -- what Trump said: The Hill's Niall Stanage has five takeaways:

1. Immigration dominates: Trump's rhetoric on immigration dominated the discussion on cable news immediately after the speech and was set to seize the headlines on Wednesday morning.
2. Keeping the base happy: Trump offered red meat to his base with remarks on immigration, the NFL controversy and his economic record.
3. Unity? Not so much: There were only a couple of instances where the president held out a plausible offer of bipartisanship. One was on infrastructure spending, the other a brief mention of prison reform.
4. Few minds changed: Trump is a hugely polarizing figure and it's hard to see how that changes anytime soon.
5. Silence on Russia -- from the podium: The president made no mention of the Russia investigation during his remarks, but as he was leaving the House, a hot mic caught him saying that he was "100 percent" behind the release of the House Intelligence Committee memo that alleges misdeeds by the Department of Justice and FBI.

The Spark Notes -- what Trump didn't say: The Hill's Reid Wilson writes about what President Trump didn't address in his speech. Think: The Affordable Care Act, the debt or deficits. Full list: http://bit.ly/2nmnkdV

Oh wow: Check out today's cover of the New York Daily News: http://bit.ly/2E0bXlr

 

ANNOUNCED THIS MORNING

New resignation -- mo' tobacco, mo' problems: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda FitzgeraldBrenda FitzgeraldOvernight Health Care: Drug company under scrutiny for Michael Cohen payments | New Ebola outbreak | FDA addresses EpiPen shortage CDC director to take pay cut of more than 5k CDC director asks for salary reduction after questions raised MORE just resigned. Why: Reports came out yesterday that Fitzgerald bought a share in Japan Tobacco one month into her leadership of the agency, which is responsible for reducing tobacco use among Americans. http://bit.ly/2DRMYBB

Statement from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the resignation: http://bit.ly/2nsxr0L

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Spotted at Union Station this morning -- hello muddah, hello faddah: "House & Senate GOP lawmakers boarding their train at Union Station en route to West Virginia, where they'll be spending the next few days at the Greenbrier for their annual issues conference. Spouses and kids in tow. [Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherGeorge Papadopoulos launches campaign to run for Katie Hill's congressional seat The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz MORE (R-Calif.)] was carrying his guitar." (Via The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefehttp://bit.ly/2Esg87d

Another day, another Washington official meeting with Russian spies: Via CNN's Zachary Cohen, top Russian spies recently met recently with CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoImpeachment battle looms over must-pass defense bill Five takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony Pompeo: No US response ruled out in Hong Kong MORE when they visited the United States. How we know: U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon HuntsmanDetails: "Talks between top US and Russian intelligence officials occurred just days before Pompeo once again warned that Russia will attempt to meddle in the 2018 US midterm elections and the Trump administration released a sweeping list of prominent Russian political and business figures in defiance of Moscow." Full story: http://cnn.it/2EsPwmJ

 

NOTABLE TWEETS:

Aw:

 

Good point:

 

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are out for the rest of the week. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Pence is leaving for West Virginia this afternoon for a speech.

Today: Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon will testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Keep in mind: He spoke with the committee earlier this month but failed the answer all of its questions. The panel then subpoenaed Bannon. http://bit.ly/2FsOVR7

11:05 a.m. EST: President Trump met with Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonNikki Haley fires the first shot in the GOP's post-Trump war State Dept. watchdog: Official's firing was case of political retaliation Steve Schmidt: 'Overwhelming chance that Trump will dump Pence' for Haley MORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court Former Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy MORE.

2:15 p.m. EST: President Trump has a meeting on tax reform.

2:20 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems, GOP dig in for public impeachment hearings The Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts plow ground for public impeachment testimony MORE leave Washington, D.C., for West Virginia.

3:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms Trump to tour Apple factory with Tim Cook on Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today MORE.

9 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence get back to Washington, D.C.

Next week: The House Democratic retreat. New: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report Biden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Impeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP MORE will headline the retreat. http://politi.co/2nol2uz

 

WHAT TO WATCH:

4:10 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gives remarks on tax reform at Worldwide Equipment Inc. in West Virginia. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2BGN6hd

7:15 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the Republican congressional retreat. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2DQ0bqz

11 a.m. EST Thursday: Stormy Daniels will appear on "The View." Keep in mind: She's the adult film star who was reportedly paid $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Donald Trump a decade ago.

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Hot Chocolate Day.

Just get a few teenagers involved and we'll know what these emojis mean in no time: Via The Wall Street Journal's Mike Cherney, "Emojis ... are no longer a laughing matter for the legal profession. Increasingly, they are bones of contention in lawsuits ranging from business disputes to harassment to defamation." Basically, the meaning of certain emoji combinations have become an issue in court cases. 

For example: A couple looking for an apartment texted a landlord "a series of emojis, including a smiley face, a comet, a champagne bottle, dancing yellow Playboy bunnies and a chipmunk. The landlord believed, based in part on the emojis, that the couple had agreed to rent the apartment. He took down the listing, then sued them when they stopped responding to his messages."

Full story: http://on.wsj.com/2GxDx7Z

Not her emotional support peacock! Anything but her emotional support peacock!: A woman was told she could not bring her emotional support peacock on a United Airlines flight. The photos are incredible: http://fxn.ws/2GyH1r1

 

And because you made it this far, here's a dog who just can't understand why the stuffed lion won't love her back. Don't give up, Shila!: http://bit.ly/2BH86Vh