The Hill’s 12:30 Report: AAA predicts busiest travel since 2005 | Trump’s stunning Saudi Arabia statement | Romaine lettuce E. coli contamination | Fudge endorses Pelosi | Holiday festivities in D.C.

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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. 

 

TALK OF THE MORNING

What, did I say something?: 

Via The New York Times’s Mark Landler, “President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE defied the nation’s intelligence agencies and a growing body of evidence on Tuesday to declare his unswerving loyalty to Saudi Arabia, asserting that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s culpability for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi might never be known.”

What happened: The president released a stunning statement about the incident. 

Read the full statement — and count the exclamation points: http://bit.ly/2qY0mev

The line that’s getting traction: “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

Breakdown of Trump’s statement: https://nyti.ms/2Qbvm97 

Reaction from Khashoggi’s editor at The Washington Post: Karen Attiah tweeted, “Trump’s statement on Saudi Arabia + Khashoggi is full of lies and a blatant disregard for his own intelligence agencies. It also shows an unforgivable disregard for the lives of Saudis who dare criticize the regime. This is a new low.” http://bit.ly/2zl8D0v 

Reaction from Democrats: Senate Democrats were not pleased. http://bit.ly/2PIhZgZ

Reaction from Sen.-elect Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid On The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Pelosi downplays impeachment post-Mueller report MORE (R-Utah): “The President’s and Secretary of State’s Khashoggi statements to date are inconsistent with an enduring foreign policy, with our national interest, with basic human rights, and with American greatness. Sanctions do not necessarily require ending the alliance; they do demand real and painful consequence.” http://bit.ly/2qXbl7N

 

It’s the “Friday” of the work week. ;) 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 cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will be off tomorrow and Friday for the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

NEWS THIS MORNING

Stay away from romaine lettuce (and *not* just because it’s Thanksgiving and you should be eating stuffing):

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning for people not to eat romaine lettuce in the U.S. Why: An E. coli contamination. How many people have been infected: 32 people in 11 states. Which states: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. Keep in mind: No deaths have been reported. https://cnn.it/2KmC8TV

 

This feels like the equivalent of ‘random drug tests’ at companies:

Via The Washington Post’s Christian Davenport, NASA is launching a safety review of Elon Musk’s SpaceX after Musk smoked marijuana and drank whiskey on a livestreamed podcast. From NASA: “NASA Administrator Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineThis is not the time to abandon NASA's Space Launch System Can America return to the moon by 2024? Why NASA announced and then canceled an all-woman spacewalk MORE said in an interview that the agency wants to make sure the public has confidence in its human-spaceflight program, especially as the companies are getting closer to their first flights, scheduled for next year.” https://wapo.st/2AaQSkl

 

IN OTHER NEWS

What to expect if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving:

AAA predicts that this Thanksgiving will be the busiest for travel since 2005. How many people are expected to travel: 54.3 Americans. http://bit.ly/2znaeTy

The worst times and places to travel: Early evening hours in San Francisco, New York City and Boston. Travel times could quadruple. http://bit.ly/2PERQ2G

Live updates for travel conditions: https://cnn.it/2TzRjgG

 

Latest with the House Speaker race — nah, just kidding

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeDems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks Congressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as CBC Foundation chair amid lawsuit MORE (D-Ohio), who had been considering challenging current House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiPence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Julián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Swalwell on impeachment: 'We're on that road' after Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) for House Speaker, decided against running and endorsed Pelosi. What Fudge got instead: After meeting with Pelosi last week, Fudge said Pelosi offered to restore a defunct election subcommittee and offered Fudge the gavel. http://bit.ly/2TypxkI

HOW PELOSI IS COURTING DEMS:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she wants to expand the Democratic leadership team. In a letter to Democrats: Pelosi said she wants to create a new position — a chairman of the Democrats’ messaging arm. Excerpt of the letter from Pelosi: “This enhancement to the [Democratic Policy and Communications Committee] will position House Democrats to best take advantage of the new size and diversity of our Caucus, bringing greater resources and staffing to this vital Committee.” http://bit.ly/2DNfTpO

NEW DEVELOPMENT — PELOSI COURTS ANOTHER: 

Rep. Brian HigginsBrian HigginsDemocratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Democratic senators unveil 'Medicare X' bill to expand coverage US labor unions say NAFTA replacement doesn't go far enough for workers MORE (D-N.Y.), who has fiercely opposed House Minority Leader NancyPelosi’s (D-Calif.)  bid for Speaker, changed his tune this morning and announced his support for her. Higgins told The Buffalo News: “I have an agreement in principle with the Democratic leader that those are going to be two priorities, and that I will be the lead person on the Medicare buy-in.” http://bit.ly/2DQbS4a

 

An American man killed on a remote Indian island:

Via India Today, “An American man was killed on an island inhabited by a tribe known to resist outside contact in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.” Who: 27-year-old John Allen Chau, who was reportedly a Christian missionary. What happened: “Chau was killed by members of this tribe, which is protected under Indian law, a senior police officer told India Today TV.” http://bit.ly/2DQT9FG

How he was killed: By tribesmen with bows and arrows. https://nyti.ms/2qZbAPL

NOTABLE TWEETS

These are pretty creative:

 

Full-size photos: http://bit.ly/2BnmLb8



(Not so) fun fact:

 

 

Reasoning: https://cnn.it/2qVwOy4

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are out. 

President Trump is at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., with no public events on his schedule.

Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

Nov. 26–27: Congress returns for the lame-duck session. Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2TsupYN

Nov. 30: President Trump attends the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires.

Dec. 12: Sentencing for President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohenhttps://cnn.it/2QWv4Qz

WHAT TO WATCH

Nov. 28: The Hill is hosting the event "Preparing for a Treatment: Alzheimer's Diagnosis and Care." Featured speakers: The Hill's editor-in-chief, Bob Cusack, will interview Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyAmazon hiring alcohol lobbyist Tlaib rallies in support of Green New Deal at Detroit town hall Ben & Jerry's backs Green New Deal: 'We have to act now' MORE (D-Mass.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell pledges to be 'Grim Reaper' for progressive policies Pro-life Christians are demanding pollution protections Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 MORE (R-N.C.). Details and how to RSVPhttp://bit.ly/2qU9z7u

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF ...

Today is National Stuffing Day. It’s also National Gingerbread Cookie Day.

 

It will be easy to get in the holiday spirit in D.C. this weekend:

Via The Washington Post’s Going Out Guide, here’s a list of 11 things to do in the Washington, D.C., area over Thanksgiving weekend. I’m looking at you, holiday markets. The list: https://wapo.st/2S91GH7

 

And to get your weekend off to a great start, here’s a dog who has the best reaction to finding a clam on the beach: http://bit.ly/2PJQZOq