The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Latest on Hurricane Michael | Trump, Kanye West to have lunch at White House | GOP divided over potential 2020 high court vacancy

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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 -- Presented by Citi -- Trump calls into 'Fox & Friends' | Vows to overrule Sessions on criminal justice reform | Latest on Hurricane Michael | 2 deaths reported | Storm moves over Georgia toward Carolinas | Trump defends holding campaign rally | Kanye to have lunch at White House | GOP split over potential 2020 Supreme Court vacancy | Some ObamaCare premiums to drop



Trump's Fox News show audition:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE called into "Fox & Friends" for an interview lasting nearly an hour. 


On Republicans losing the House majority: "If we lose the majority in the House, which is always a possibility, we will probably just have to fight it out, and it's a shame. It would be a shame because we'd be wasting a lot of time. But we'll just have to fight it out because there are a lot of haters and they're just absolute haters."

On Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports McCabe: Trump's 'relentless attack' on FBI prompted memoir Trump: 'Disgraced' McCabe, Rosenstein look like they were planning 'very illegal act' MORE -- you know this can't be positive: Trump said if Attorney General Jeff Sessions tries to oppose criminal justice reform, "then he gets overruled by me."  Trump added: "There has to be a reform because it's very unfair right now. It's very unfair to African-Americans. It's very unfair to everybody. And it's also very costly."

On Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears ‘Fox & Friends’ host asks if McCabe opening FBI probe into Trump was attempt to ‘overthrow government’ Nunes says GOP lawmakers looking through Russia transcripts, will make DOJ referrals MORE: Trump praised House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) for his efforts to push back on the Russia investigation. "If this turns out as everyone thinks it will, Devin Nunes should get the Medal of Honor." Keep in mind: The Medal of Honor is awarded to military service members recognized for acts of valor during war. Later in the interview: Trump referenced the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

The last question for Trump: "Fox & Friends" host Ainsley Earhardt ended by asking Trump to wish her father a happy birthday. "Today is my father's birthday. I forgot to send him a present, I had it on the agenda. But if you wish him a happy birthday, that will be the best birthday present I will ever be able to get him." Watch the back and forth:

How Fox News host Steve Doocy ended the interview: "Go run the country."


It's Thursday. 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.




Ugh, the damage so far looks to me more like a tornado than a hurricane: 

Where Michael is headed: Northeast towards the Carolinas. It should head out to sea by Friday. The latest forecast:

Deaths: At least two people have been killed in the storm, including a child in Georgia.

Power outages: More than 900,000 homes and businesses don't have power.



Yikes, this is the scariest video I've seen of the storm: Here's a house in Alabama as the storm surge rolls in. Watch:

Wow, this photo of the hurricane's destruction at sunset:

Aerial footage of Panama City, Fla., after the hurricane: It looks more like a tornado hit. Watch

Remember our dear friend, the flag livestream during Hurricane Florence?: It's back! Watch:

This would be about the time I questioned my career choice


THIS A.M. -- TRUMP DEFENDS HOLDING A CAMPAIGN RALLY DURING THE STORM: "Trump defends decision to campaign in Pennsylvania amid destruction from Hurricane Michael in Florida, says he didn't want to disappoint 'thousands and thousands' of people in PA and claimed that in some cases, there were people waiting 'a day-and-a-half' just to enter the arena."



The things I would do to see President Trump wearing some Yeezys:

President Trump is having lunch with rapper Kanye West and football Hall of Famer Jim Brown at the White House todayTrump's daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpFour names emerge for UN position: report Trump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration MORE and her husband Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE will also attend. What they will discuss: "[M]anufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago."

Details of the meeting:




The most fascinating story I've read in weeks:

New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi was working on a story about how White House Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE has kept his job. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders asked Nuzzi to come back to the White House Tuesday, leading to as Nuzzi writes, "My Private Oval Office Press Conference With Donald Trump, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceChina accuses US of trying to block development after Pence Huawei comments Kamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE, John Kelly, and Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight MORE." Read it -- trust me:


Just in case we don't have enough political disputes, let's start arguing over hypothetical ones:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Early lines of division are opening up among top Senate Republicans over a potential 2020 Supreme Court fight. Days after the Senate confirmed Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughFive things to watch as Barr takes the reins of Justice, Mueller probe Virginia can be better than this Constitutional conservatives need to oppose the national emergency MORE to the court, key GOP lawmakers are giving different answers over whether they'd fill a Supreme Court seat if there is an opening in 2020, the next presidential election year." How this could play out:


If you like your stamp prices, you can keep them:

Via USA Today's Ashley May, the U.S. Postal Service is considering the biggest stamp price hike since 1991. The difference: From 50 cents to 55 cents for a stamp. Yeah, but: "USPS said the change would also reduce the additional ounce price of letters." Details:


ObamaCare premiums could drop:

Via The Hill's Nathaniel Weixel, "Average premiums for the most common "silver" level insurance plan sold under ObamaCare will fall 1.5 percent in 2019, according to the Trump administration, the first time rates have fallen since the law took effect. In contrast, average premiums for the same mid-level plans increased by 37 percent between 2017 and 2018 and by 25 percent between 2016 and 2017."


This is well done:

The New York Times published a feature, "What does life look like for girls turning 18 in 2018? We gave young women photographers around the world an assignment: Show us 18 in your community. This is 18 -- through girls' eyes."





This is mesmerizing:



The Senate is in. The House is out.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump signed two bills.

12:10 p.m. EDT: The Senate is voting on a nomination. The Senate's full schedule today:

12:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence has lunch with Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueSenate buzz grows for Abrams after speech electrifies Dems Energy Secretary Rick Perry is designated survivor for 2019 State of the Union Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union MORE.

1:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participates in a briefing on Hurricane Michael.

Dec. 1: Vice President Pence will attend the inauguration of Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador




2 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Annual Meeting. Livestream:



Today is National Sausage Pizza Day.


This is important:

Via Bon Appetit, here's a list of the best cheeses at Trader Joe's.


Getting traction -- I feel ya, kid. It's a tough life being the birthday boy:

ABC's "Good Morning America" posted a video of a little boy, named Walter, on his birthday. Clearly Walter is not a morning person. Watch:


And because you made it this far, here are penguins playing with bubbles: