The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | How Trump could work with a Dem House | Trump heads to Florida to view hurricane damage

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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: Trump sends Pompeo to meet with Saudi king | Says 'rogue killer' could be behind journalist's disappearance | Trump denies offering $1M for Warren DNA test, even though he did | How Trump could work with Dems if they retake House | Trump heads to Florida to see hurricane damage | Sears files for bankruptcy | Meghan Markle is pregnant 



New development — this won’t be a tense meeting or anything:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE said he's sending Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump cancels delegation's trip to Davos amid shutdown China 'not worried in the slightest' about concern over Canadian's death sentence The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia after the king denied any role in the disappearance of journalist Jamal KhashoggiTrump tweeted: "Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen.’ He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!”

ALSO THIS A.M. — TRUMP SUGGESTS ‘ROGUE KILLERS’ COULD BE TO BLAME FOR KHASHOGGI’S DISAPPEARANCE: "Trump told reporters at the White House that "rogue killers," and not Saudi officials, may have gotten to Khashoggi. The president cited no specific evidence, but noted he had just spoken with Saudi King Salman, who denied that Riyadh was involved."

YESTERDAY — TRUMP WARNED SAUDIS ON '60 MINUTES’: Trump warned that Saudi Arabia would face “severe punishment” if the country is involved with Khashoggi’s disappearance. 

HAPPENING TODAY: Turkey will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi was last seen.


HELPFUL READ — HERE’S EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE: Via The Huffington Post’s Antonia Blumberg, “Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist living in self-imposed exile, went missing on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. His disappearance has sparked international outrage and a slew of conflicting theories about what happened to him.” What we know and the lingering questions 


It’s Monday — welcome back! 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.



Sears files for bankruptcy — everyone, go buy a new vacuum:

Via CNN’s Chris Isidore, Sears has filed for bankruptcy after it could not make a $134 million debt payment. But keep in mind: Sears says it plans to stay in business, keeping the websites and its profitable store locations.


Well, Princess Eugenie had the spotlight for the weekend, right?:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the duke and duchess of Sussex, are having a baby next spring. How far along is she?: Around 12 weeks. Keep in mind: Meghan wore a long coat to Princess Eugenie’s wedding, sparking speculation that she may be pregnant. Photos that led to speculation

The couple’s Instagram announcement:

WILL THE BABY BE A PRINCE OR PRINCESS?: Not automatically. Technically only the first born of Prince William would be a prince or princess, but the Queen bent the rules with a decree that any child of William would be a prince or princess. The Queen would have to do the same for Prince HarryLine of succession: This new baby would be seventh in line to the throne, bumping Prince Andrew to eighth. Details and the line of succession:


Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn 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 Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Day 27 of the shutdown | Cohen reportedly paid company to rig online polls, boost his own image | Atlantic publishes ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ cover story MORE is trying to cash in on her bet:

Via The Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.) publicly released the results of a DNA test that show she has a Native American ancestor. How far back: Six to 10 generations. Who did the DNA test?: Stanford University professor and MacArthur fellow Carlos BustamanteThe full breakdown:

Timing: Warren is a potential 2020 presidential contender. President Trump often questions her Native American heritage and mocks the senator by calling her “Pocahontas.”  

WARREN TWEETED AT PRESIDENT TRUMP THIS MORNING: “By the way, @realDonaldTrump: Remember saying on 7/5 that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry? I remember — and here's the verdict. Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.”

TRUMP THEN RESPONDED: "I didn't say that. You'd better read it again," Trump said.

I DON’T WANT TO GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS, BUT TRUMP ~DID~ SAY HE WOULD…: Trump said at a campaign rally on July 5, “I will give you a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian. I have a feeling she will say 'no.' "



The president had a lot to say on “60 Minutes”:
Last night, CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a wide-ranging interview with President Trump. Here are the highlights:

On the special counsel investigation: Trump said he has “no intention” of shutting down special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. “Well, I don’t pledge anything. But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind.”

On Russian President Vladimir Putin: Trump admitted that Putin was “probably” involved in assassinations and poisonings, but said those crimes were “not in our country.”

On whether he trusts people in the White House: Trump said he doesn’t “trust everybody” in the White House. Why this came up: Last week, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpOvernight Defense: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown on track to become longest ever | Military begins withdrawing equipment from Syria | Bolton taps new deputy Bolton names replacement for deputy who clashed with first lady The Hill's Morning Report — Groundhog Day: Negotiations implode as shutdown reaches 20 days MORE said there are people in the West Wing she can’t trust.

SIX TAKEAWAYS FROM THE INTERVIEW: Via The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake:


IF YOU WANT TO WATCH ONE SHORT EXCERPT: Here’s a fascinating back and forth between President Trump and Lesley Stahl about North Korean leader Kim Jong UnWatch:



New reporting — when you need your enemy:

Via The Hill’s Jordan Fabian and Mike Lillis, “President Trump is making overtures to Democrats about working together next year, a move that would mark a major shift in his approach to dealing with Congress but one that could prove necessary in order to secure big legislative achievements ahead of his reelection campaign in 2020.”

Why: Trump will need Democrats if they take control of the House next year.

The double-edged sword: “But the partisan animosity in Washington is likely to increase if Democrats win majorities in one or both chambers of Congress, which could make bipartisan dealmaking all but impossible. Trump could also risk a backlash from his base if they believe he has gone too far in dealing with Democrats.”

An example of an issue where Trump and Democrats could agree: An infrastructure package.

TIDBIT — WHY SOME MAIL-IN BALLOTS MAY NOT BE COUNTED: Via The Miami Herald’s Steve Bousquet, “A study of Florida’s past two presidential elections finds that mail ballots were 10 times more likely to be rejected than votes cast at early voting sites or on election day.” 

Later in the story — why ballots are usually rejected: “The main reasons why mail ballots are rejected are that a voter didn’t sign the ballot envelope or that the voter’s signature on the envelope did not match the voter’s signature on file with the county elections office.”



‘Hey kid, it’s my turn’:

Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie Trump'Vice' director shrugs off report that Ivanka and Jared walked out of screening Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown MORE and her husband, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMcConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government More than Mueller: Senators must ask Barr about criminal justice policy Christie says Trump is surrounded by 'revolving door' of 'grifters' and 'felons' MORE, were spotted at Chuck E. Cheese’s yesterday. 



This painting is incredible

The zoomed-in photo:


This is a power move:



The House and Senate are out.

Today: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump assess the damage of Hurricane Michael in Florida. 

Today: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leaving for Saudi Arabia amid the investigation into missing journalist Jamal KhashoggiDetails on the trip: Op-ed:

12:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence has lunch with U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE.

5:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for congressional candidates Jay Webber and John Chrin in Washington, D.C.



9 p.m. EDT: Arizona Senate debate between Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyMark Kelly considering Senate bid as Arizona Dems circle McSally Schumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Ariz.) for retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSchumer recruiting top-notch candidate for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least MORE’s (R-Ariz.) seat. Livestream:



Today is National Cheese Curd Day.


And to brighten your Monday, here’s a cat who could really use some more practice scaring people: