12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump’s disaster dinner with Ye, white supremacist

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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.

TALK OF THE MORNING 

I double-dog dare you to go ask Trump to be ~your~ vice president:

Former President Trump is under fire for having dinner with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes on Tuesday night. Axios’s initial report of the dinner

Ye asked Trump during his recent meeting: Ye said he asked Trump to be his vice president. Yes, as in Ye on top of the ticket with Trump as his No. 2. Ye said in a video on Twitter: “I think the thing that Trump was most perturbed about, me asking him to be my vice president. I think that was like lower on the list of things that caught him off-guard.” 

^ How Trump took the invitation — not well, apparently: “When Trump started basically screaming at me at the table telling me I was going to lose — I mean has that ever worked for anyone in history,” Ye said in the video. “I’m like hold on, hold on, hold on, Trump, you’re talking to Ye.”   

OK, back to Trump having dinner with a white supremacist. Trump’s defense is that he didn’t know who Fuentes was: “So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed ‘advice,’” Trump posted on Truth Social. “He shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn’t know, the other a political person who I haven’t seen in years…” Read Trump’s full post 

Reaction from a longtime Trump adviser: “This is a f—ing nightmare,” a Trump adviser told NBC News. “If people are looking at [Florida Gov. RonDeSantis to run against Trump, here’s another reason why.” 

REACTION FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD:  

“Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is barely two weeks old, and already it has his trademarks of bad company and bad judgment … Trump isn’t going to change, and the next two years will inevitably feature many more such damaging episodes. Republicans who continue to go along for the ride with Mr. Trump are teeing themselves up for disaster in 2024.” Read the full WSJ Editorial Board’s reaction 

TIDBIT FROM NANTUCKET

Watch President Biden give his response to former President Trump having dinner with a white nationalist. “You don’t want to hear what I think,” Biden said.  Video from C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman

It’s Monday. Welcome back! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

🎁 In the White House 

It’s the holiday season, the holiday season!:

The White House is decked out for the holiday season. First lady Jill Biden is currently unveiling the décor at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 

Watch the livestream 

This year’s theme: “We the People” 

SOME PHOTOS OF THE DÉCOR:

Wow, I love this hallwayVideo from The Daily Mail’s Emily Goodin 

Oh hey, Commander and WillowPhoto from CNN’s Kate Bennett 

The tree in the Green RoomAnother photo from Bennett 

Photos of some of the Christmas treesPhotos tweeted by the first lady

🦆 In Congress 

They’re making a list. They’re checking it twice. Gonna find out what’s in and what’s out … Congress really wants to leave town!:

The House and Senate return to Washington this week with a lengthy to-do list before leaving for the holidays. 

Top of that list: Funding the government by Dec. 16 

The same-sex marriage bill could pass this week: Senators are expected to end debate on the Respect for Marriage Act today, setting up a final vote for Wednesday or Thursday.  

Does it have the votes?: Yes, All Democrats and 12 Republicans support the measure. That means there are enough votes to overcome a filibuster. 

House Dems are holding their leadership elections: But don’t expect these to be too exciting. The top three positions have one member running unopposed. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is running for House Democratic leader, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) is running to be Democratic whip and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) is running for caucus chair. 

^ Where to find the fireworks in the leadership elections: Among Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is trying to find enough support to become the next speaker of the House. McCarthy can only afford a few defections because of Republicans’ slim majority and a few GOP members already do not support his bid. 

The Hill’s Mychael Schnell breaks down more on what’s happening this week on Capitol Hill. 

SEVEN INCOMING HOUSE MEMBERS TO WATCH

Including the first Gen Z House member, as well as Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R-Wyo.) replacement. The list and a quick primer on each 

‘HOUSE DEMS ON GOP’S THIN MAJORITY: WELCOME TO HELL’:  

“After two years of late-night phone calls and countless painful negotiations, they’re ready to watch Republicans navigate their own barely-there majority.” Full story from Politico’s Sarah Ferris

THE MOST VULNERABLE SENATE DEMOCRATS UP FOR REELECTION IN 2024

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) tops the list. The other seven most vulnerable Dems

🦠 Latest with COVID-19 

China is backing off a bit

“China eased some COVID-19 restrictions on Monday after a long weekend of protests against the country’s ‘Zero COVID’ policy, which morphed into one of the largest opposition movements to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) party in decades.” The full story 

‘CHINA PROTESTS BREAK OUT AS COVID CASES SURGE AND LOCKDOWNS PERSIST’:

The New York Times’s Vivek Shankar explains the situation in China

‘MEMES, PUNS AND BLANK SHEETS OF PAPER: CHINA’S CREATIVE ACTS OF PROTEST’:

From The New York Times’s Chang Che and Amy Chang Chien 

THE COVID-19 NUMBERS: 

Cases to date: 98.4 million 

Death toll: 1,075,779 

Current hospitalizations: 19,480 

Shots administered: 653 million 

Fully vaccinated: 68.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

England fans take it out on their pints of beer: 

@FirstEdition tweeted video of soccer fans in London watching the end of the U.S.-England World Cup game on Friday. Watch fans throw their beers

On tap 

The Senate is back. The House is out. President Biden is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Harris is in Los Angeles.

  • 10:30 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 1:30 p.m.: Biden hosts a congratulatory visit with 2022 Nobel Prize winners from the United States. 
  • 1:40 p.m.: Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff leave Los Angeles and fly back to Washington, D.C. 
  • 3 p.m.: The Senate meets.  
  • 5:30 p.m.: A Senate cloture vote. Today’s Senate agenda 

 All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 12:30 p.m.: First lady Jill Biden unveils the 2022 holiday décor at the White House. Livestream 
  • 2:30 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby hold a press briefing. Livestream 

🍭 In lighter news 

Today is National French Toast Day

And because you made it this far, watch this dog refuse to walk through the door until the imaginary screen door is opened for him

This video has more than 2.6 million views already.

Tags 12:30 Report Biden China protests Congress COVID-19 French Toast GOP House majority Jill Biden Nick Fuentes Trump Ye meeting White House Holiday decor Ye
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