The Hill's 12:30 Report

The Hill's 12:30 Report
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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump promises decision on Syria in 24 to 48 hours | What to know about reported chemical attack | Rick Scott announces Senate bid | Zuckerberg to apologize in testimony before Congress | Lawmakers return from recess | John Bolton's first day



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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE just said he would decide the U.S. response to the "heinous" chemical weapons attack in Syria "in the next 24 to 48 hours." On the attack: "It was atrocious. It was horrible," Trump said. "This is about humanity and it can't be allowed to happen." On the U.S.'s next move: Trump said he would be speaking to his national security team to determine the responsible party and any U.S. action. Watch President Trump discussing Syria:


Back story -- What to know about the chemical attack in Syria:

Via The New York Times's Ben Hubbard, "dozens of Syrians choked to death after a suspected chemical attack struck [Syria], with aid groups on Sunday blaming President Bashar al-Assad's government for the assault." Full story -- it's horrific:

REACTION: Governments in the West are outraged. In the U.S.: Senators in both parties have urged President Trump to act. Meanwhile, the president tweeted an attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin for his role in Syria. On whether Trump will act: "Trump has sent mixed signals about his likely response to Syria, advocating getting the U.S. out of the conflict there but also on Sunday tweeting criticism of his predecessor President Obama's hands-off response to a similar situation." 

KEEP IN MIND: Today is John Bolton’s first day as President Trump’s national security adviser. Bolton is known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


It’s Monday — tomorrow is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s! 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.



A Senate race you'll be hearing a lot about:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) just announced that he'll challenge Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson2020 party politics in Puerto Rico There is no winning without Latinos as part of your coalition Dem 2020 candidates court Puerto Rico as long nomination contest looms MORE (D), setting up a marquee battle that could help decide which party controls the Senate. Is this a surprise?: Eh, not really. Scott's long-awaited announcement ends months of speculation. Why Rick Scott isn't running for governor again: He can't run for a third term as governor because of term limits. Should Nelson be nervous?: Yes, this race is expected to the costliest race of the cycle.

UGH, THIS IS TERRIBLE: Politico's Marc Caputo ​just tweeted, "Rest In Peace, Jeri Bustamante, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott who had taught him Spanish for years. She died yesterday in a Keys boating accident." Full story:



Sooo, what are the odds Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Kremlin seeks more control over Russian internet | Huawei CEO denies links to Chinese government | Facebook accused of exposing health data | Harris calls for paper ballots | Twitter updates ad rules ahead of EU election Patients, health data experts accuse Facebook of exposing personal info Hillicon Valley: New York says goodbye to Amazon's HQ2 | AOC reacts: 'Anything is possible' | FTC pushes for record Facebook fine | Cyber threats to utilities on the rise MORE shows up in a light gray t-shirt and dark zip-up sweatshirt?: 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is entering the lion's den this week as he faces back-to-back hearings on Facebook users' data privacy. When: He'll testify before a Senate panel Tuesday, followed by the House Wednesday. 

THE QUESTION WE ALL WANT TO KNOW -- WAS MY DATA STOLEN?: Starting today, Facebook will notify the 87 million Facebook users whose data was stolen. How to know if you're included: Every Facebook user will receive a notification about privacy settings on the top of their feed, but users whose data was compromised will receive a slightly longer version. Details and screenshots of each version of the notifications:

BACK STORY -- WHY IT'S IN THE SPOTLIGHT NOW: Political data firm Cambridge Analytica, which did work for President Trump's campaign, obtained data for nearly 87 million Facebook users without their consent. Top Facebook officials were criticized for not immediately addressing the controversy, and lawmakers called on Zuckerberg to testify. The company is now trying to contain the fallout. Everything you need to know about the scandal:

WOULD ZUCKERBERG RESIGN?: No. In an interview, The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer asked Zuckerberg whether he's considered stepping down. His response: "No, I mean--I am--I do work on philanthropy too, separately. But, these issues are very important," he said. "We've also worked on a lot of hard problems over the last 14 years building Facebook. I mean, it started in a dorm room and now it's this unprecedented community in scale and I'm very confident that we're gonna be able to work through these issues." Full interview:

JUST RELEASED -- WHAT ZUCK WILL SAY: The House Energy and Commerce Committee just released Mark Zuckerberg's prepared testimony for Wednesday. The gist: Zuckerberg will apologize in front of Congress. Full text of Zuckerberg's testimony:


What Congress up to this week:

Balanced budget amendment: The House is expected to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution just weeks after Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending package that is projected to add billions to the deficit. Ehhh, but don't take this too seriously: The measure has almost no chance of becoming law. It needs Democratic support in the Senate and ratification from the majority of states. Then why are they voting on it?: Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden MORE (R-Wis.) agreed on a vote in exchange for conservative support on a procedural budget measure needed to move forward tax reform.

Nominations: The Senate is digging back into nominations. Who: Claria Horn Boom to be a district judge, John Ring to be on the National Labor Relations Board, John Pizzella to be deputy secretary of Labor, Andrew Wheeler to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and John Broomes and Rebecca Jennings to be district judges.



OK, this is pretty funny:

Full-sized photos:



The Senate meets in a few hours. The House is out.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump holds a Cabinet meeting.

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in swearing-in ceremonies.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate holds a procedural vote on a nomination.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives a briefing from senior military leadership, followed by a dinner.

Today: John Bolton officially becomes President Trump's national security adviser. What to expect: Op-ed: 

Meanwhile: National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton is leaving the administration, a senior White House official confirmed to The Hill on Sunday evening.



2:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press briefing. Livestream:

Wednesday: The Stanley Cup playoffs begin. Schedule and predictions from ESPN:

Saturday: The NBA playoffs begin. What to expect: 



Today is National Chinese Almond Cookie Day. Sure


It's that time of year where we venture out of our cocoons:
Via The Washington Post's Fritz Hahn, here's a list of the new restaurants and bars around Washington, D.C.:


And because you read this far, here's Wiley the puppy, who has an actual heart on his nose: