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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: Pompeo faces crucial vote | Trump lashes out at NYT reporter over Cohen story | What to know for French president's state visit | Kate Middleton gives birth to third royal baby | Chick-fil-A opens at DC's Union Station



Paul McCartney puts it so eloquently:


President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE is stewing over a story from The New York Times's Maggie Haberman reporting that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, may cooperate with prosecutors.  

Full New York Times report that started the firestorm on Friday:

Then SaturdayPresident Trump went after the reporter on Twitter, calling her a "third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don't speak to and have nothing to do with." Trump criticized her reporting as having "non-existent 'sources' and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael."  

Trump's tweet's going after Haberman:

Keep in mind: Trump's Saturday tweets happened right before the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush. Trump did not attend, but first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump, Harris, Ocasio-Cortez, Charlie Kirk among Twitter's most-engaged users The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld dies at 85 MORE did, as well as the Obamas and the Clintons. Photo of the former presidents -- it's a pretty cool photo:

And then this morning, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman responded to the president's attacks, saying her report is "hitting a nerve" with Trump. In her words: "I think he and his lawyers are very anxious about the Southern District investigation into Michael Cohen, that is more of an imminent threat than the Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE special counsel probe is," she said on CNN's "New Day." Watch Haberman's explanation of why the Trump/Cohen relationship is crumbling:


It's Monday. 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, @CateMartel and on Facebook.


Today at 5 p.m. -- why Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot Sean Spicer joins 'Extra' as 'special DC correspondent' Trump, Pompeo: Alabama woman who joined ISIS cannot return to US MORE may not have much of an appetite today:

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo has a crucial Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote later today on his confirmation. Why the vote could fail: Democrats are considering blocking Pompeo's nomination in committee as an unusual and bold strategy to fight President Trump. But not all Dems have agreed to this plan. I.e.: stay tuned! Who's leading the anti-Pompeo effort: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a potential White House contender, who grilled Pompeo earlier this month about his views on Muslim Americans and gay marriage.

The committee vote breakdown: The 21-senator committee has 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats. Republican Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump escalates fight with NY Times The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE (Ky.) is expected to vote "no," so Pompeo, currently the director of the CIA, needs at least one Democrat to vote for him. Eh, but: Every Democrat on the committee has announced opposition to Pompeo. If there are no last-minute switches, Pompeo will not be reported favorably out of the committee. That would set up a 60-vote threshold to move his nomination to the Senate floor.

Why a 'no' vote would be historic: Pompeo would be the first nominee for secretary of State since the 1920s to have that happen. 

Why this is infuriating for Pompeo: If Pompeo's nomination successfully makes it out of committee, he would likely have the votes on the Senate floor in an up-or-down vote.

For example — not all Dems are against Pompeo: This morning, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general MORE (D-W.Va.) became the second Democrat to back Pompeo’s nomination — Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (D-N.D.) was the first. 

What happens if Pompeo fails in committee: “Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, could either send [Pompeo] to the floor with an unfavorable recommendation or no recommendation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFox News has covered Ocasio-Cortez more than any 2020 Dem besides Warren: analysis Durbin after reading Green New Deal: 'What in the heck is this?' Dems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle MORE (R-Ky.) could also try to discharge the nomination from committee, but that gives Democrats the leverage to potentially filibuster Pompeo because the move would require 60 votes.”


What else is happening in Congress this week:

Congress has a busy week before leaving for a weeklong recess. In addition to dealing with Mike Pompeo's nomination for secretary of State, here's a rundown of the other items on the agenda, via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke

French President's address: French President Emmanuel Macron will speak at a joint session of Congress Wednesday as part of his state visit. Live updates of Macron's state visit:

Protecting Robert Mueller: The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to approve a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. Yeah, but: Even it passes in committee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he wouldn't put it to a floor vote. 

FAA reauthorization: The House is scheduled to vote to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration through 2023. 

Special election in Arizona: Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni will compete Tuesday in a special election to replace former Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). 

Changes to nomination rules: Senate Republicans are hoping to advance a proposal to reduce the debate time required to confirm President Trump's nominees. 

Context for each:


This week in one image, from Jordain Carney: 


It's a boy!:

The duke and duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy this morning, weighing 8 lbs, 7 oz. According to the report, Kate and the new royal baby "are both doing well."

Tidbit about Prince William: "Royal tradition dictates that men avoid the birthing room, however Prince William was in the delivery room when both Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born. William was again in the delivery room for the birth of royal baby number 3."

It takes an army: An obstetrician and the queen's surgeon-gynecologist are caring for Kate. Plus: "Highly-trained midwives will also be on hand, while experts will be waiting in the wings in case of an emergency. For her previous births, Kate had a 23-strong team of top medics working or on standby."

Names?!: Via BBC, "With Arthur, Albert and Philip among the current bookies' favourites for a boy, it appears the public expect the royal couple to opt for a traditional name, rather than something more left-field. But experts say there is a chance the ultimate name choice might also reflect the Middleton side of the family." Other possibilities:

When we will likely know the baby's name: William and Kate waited two days to announce the names of both Prince George and Princess Charlotte.


Cutest video you’ll see all day — nice wave, Char!:



*Starts the slow clap* Chic-fil-A, Chick-fil-A, Chick-fil-A!:

Chick-fil-A has opened at Union Station in Washington, D.C. 


Come on, Rosie!: 




The Senate will meet later this afternoon. The House returns tomorrow.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. The Senate's schedule today:

3:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with NASA senior leadership.

5:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, to the White House. They plant a tree on the South Lawn and then head to Mount Vernon, Va.

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump, first lady Melania TrumpFrench President Macron and his wife tour Mount Vernon and have dinner.



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

 2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a swearing-in ceremony for Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineSpaceX could disrupt NASA plan to return humans to the moon Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers press officials on 2020 election security | T-Mobile, Sprint execs defend merger before Congress | Officials charge alleged Iranian spy | Senate panel kicks off talks on data security bill NASA declares Mars rover Opportunity dead after 15 years MORE as NASA administrator. Livestream:

5 p.m. EDT: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes on CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of State. Livestream:

Today: The Bill Cosby trial may wrap up. What to know about the trial: Op-ed:

Tuesday: The Trumps host French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron for a state dinner. Keep in mind: First lady Melania Trump has elected not to hire an event planner for this. What's expected:

8 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Dems seize on Times bombshell to push allegations of Trump obstruction Trump calls Andrew McCabe a 'poor man's J. Edgar Hoover' MORE participates in a CNN town hall hosted by Anderson CooperDetails:

Saturday: The annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner. 

Where Trump will be during the dinner -- not at the dinner: The president will host a campaign rally in Washington, Mich.


Today is National Cherry Cheesecake Day.


*Cancels plans*:

Netflix announced a list of new shows and movies that the company will release in 2018:


And to break up your Monday afternoon, here's a baby orangutan getting a bath. Its facial expression is adorable: