The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan

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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: Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving give Saudis 'few more days' to investigate'| Trump threatens military action if Mexico doesn't stop migrants | Mueller turns Trump associates into cooperators | Rosenstein defends Mueller probe in rare interview | GOP worries it will lose suburban women | Trump rally in Montana tonight | National Chocolate Cupcake Day


You know, Trump threatening military action on a bordering country --> ;) 

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ MORE threatened military action to stop immigrants from entering the U.S. border if Mexico doesn't stop the "onslaught."

Trump's initial tweet: "I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S."

Trump also threatened the new trade deal: He tweeted that immigration "is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the [U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement]. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border."


It's Thursday -- we're almost there! 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.



Late this morning -- Pompeo tells Trump to give the Saudis a few more days:

Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump travels to Dover Air Force Base to meet with families of Americans killed in Syria Overnight Defense: Second Trump-Kim summit planned for next month | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking Afghanistan trip plans | Pentagon warns of climate threat to bases | Trump faces pressure to reconsider Syria exit Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE just told reporters that he advised President Trump to give the Saudis a few more days to investigate the disappearance of journalist Jamal KhashoggiIn Pompeo's words: "There lots of stories out there about what has happened. We're just going to allow the process to move forward, allow the facts to unfold."


And Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts The case for Russia sanctions Treasury issues final rules on key part of Trump's tax law MORE won't attend a Saudi conference:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just announced that he will skip a major economic conference being hosted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next week in Riyadh. What sparked this decision: Mnuchin tweeted that he made the decision after meeting with Trump and Pompeo. It's the toughest message yet from the administration to the Saudis. A number of Republican lawmakers had also urged Mnuchin to skip the event.


Washington's M.O. -- slow and steady:

"Republican leaders in Congress are taking a cautious approach in their response to mounting evidence that the Saudi royal family is linked to the suspected death of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi." For example: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback MORE (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAEI names Robert Doar as new president GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE (R-Wis.) have both said they want to wait until the investigation is complete. Keep in mind: There's no timeline on how long the Saudis could take.

REPUBLICAN SENATOR ON THE INTEL HE'S GETTING: Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel Former US special envoy to anti-ISIS coalition joins Stanford University as lecturer MORE (R-Tenn.) said the Trump administration is restricting access to information relating to the missing Saudi journalist. Corker told The Washington Post: "I can only surmise that probably the intel is not painting a pretty picture as it relates to Saudi Arabia."

HOW WE REPORTEDLY HAVE AUDIO OF THE INCIDENT: "[An unnamed Turkish] official told reporters that Saudi consul Mohammed al-Otaibi was heard speaking on a taped recording of Khashoggi's detention and subsequent execution that Khashoggi allegedly recorded on a smart watch and transmitted to locations outside the consulate as the incident unfolded."

NEW DEVELOPMENT -- TURKEY SEARCHES THE SAUDI CONSUL'S HOME: Via The Associated Press, "Turkish crime-scene investigators searched the home of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul on Wednesday in the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, and a pro-government newspaper published a gruesome account of the journalist's alleged slaying."



Hey, Rod, hey:

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay Rosenstein5 myths about William Barr William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE gave a rare, extensive interview to The Wall Street Journal's Sadie Gurman.


On the special counsel investigation: Rosenstein called 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 "appropriate and independent." 

On Republicans' frustrations with the Russia probe: "People are entitled to be frustrated, I can accept that. But at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources."

On staying in his job: "The president knows that I am prepared to do this job as long as he wants me to do this job. You serve at the pleasure of the president, and there's never been any ambiguity about that in my mind." Keep in mind: Rumors have been floating that Rosenstein would resign or be fired. 

The full interview:


Robert Mueller and his motley crew:

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant, special counsel Robert Mueller has turned a group of former Trump associates into cooperators, which could provide him insight into the inner workings of the Trump campaign. How so: "Legal analysts expect former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Dems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell The case for Russia sanctions MORE and other recruits to bring the special counsel closer to getting to the bottom of whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, though doing so may hinge on Mueller striking deals with even more figures." What we know so far: Not much. Mueller has kept this probe behind closed doors.



Stormy waters in the GOP:

Via The Hill's Melanie Zanona, "President Trump's personal attacks on women are fueling GOP fears that the party may lose suburban female voters in November." The latest worry: "The president's latest insult -- aimed at adult-film actress Stormy Daniels -- comes just three weeks before the midterm elections and right on the heels of a bruising confirmation battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Merriam-Webster tweets out definition of 'suborn' after BuzzFeed report on Michael Cohen Abortion foes march into divided Washington MORE. "How Republicans reacted to Trump's remark: "Republican lawmakers were quick to condemn Trump's offensive remarks calling Daniels 'Horseface.'"

TIDBIT -- WHAT REP. DAVE BRAT TOLD INCARCERATED DRUG ADDICTS: "'You think you're having a hard time--I've got $5 million worth of negative ads coming at me. How do you think I'm feeling? Nothing's easy. For anybody.' -Dave Brat to incarcerated drug addicts." He later acknowledged that incarcerated addicts have it "harder."



Lol, well said:



The House and Senate are out until after the midterms.

9:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence left Washington, D.C., for Denver.

10 a.m. EDT: President Trump met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Oval Office.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with the South Carolina delegation in the Roosevelt Room.

2 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence attends an America First Action Lunch in Denver. He then heads to Tulsa, Okla.

3:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Missoula, Mont.

5:20 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt in Tulsa.

5:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence attends a Republican Governors' Association roundtable in Tulsa.

6 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at an Oklahoma GOP rally. He then heads to Wichita, Kansas.

8:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence attends a Republican Governors' Association roundtable in Wichita.

9:15 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach (R). 

10:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves Montana for Scottsdale, Ariz.



8:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Missoula, Mont. Livestream:



Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day! 11/10, will celebrate. 


Let's be honest, we're all curious:

Here's how many rubber bands it takes to make a pumpkin explode. Yes, yes, there's video:


And because you made it this far, here's a puppy who still hasn't mastered the stairs yet: