The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump lashes out at Mueller | What to watch in Mississippi Senate vote | WikiLeaks denies report Manafort met Assange

The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump lashes out at Mueller | What to watch in Mississippi Senate vote | WikiLeaks denies report Manafort met Assange

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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: What to watch in Mississippi Senate race | Why GOP is nervous | Report claims Manafort met with Assange | WikiLeaks denies | Mueller says Manafort violated plea deal | Trump lashes out at Mueller | Dems gain in redistricting fight | DC close to wettest year on record | Guide to Christmas pop-up bars



Sure, why not add Julian Assange to the mix?:

Via The Guardian's Luke Harding and Dan Collyns, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' ACLU says planned national emergency declaration is 'clear abuse of presidential power' O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could MORE's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears CNN's Toobin: 'Almost unrecognizable' Manafort 'in danger of losing his life' in prison The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? MORE met privately with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange around the time he joined the Trump campaign. Where they reportedly met: At the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

When they met: "Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 -- during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump's push for the White House."

Why they met: That's unclear. But the spring 2016 meeting will likely be of interest to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A few months after Manafort's 2016 Assange meeting: "Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers." 

Read the full report:

REACTION FROM WIKILEAKS -- CYBER KARATE CHOP: WikiLeaks tweeted, "Remember this day when the Guardian permitted a serial fabricator to totally destroy the paper's reputation. WikiLeaks is willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor's head that Manafort never met Assange."


It's Tuesday -- Christmas is four weeks from today! 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 and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Robert Mueller is not somebody I'd want to lie to ... just saying: 

Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler and Morgan Chalfant, according to a new filing by special counsel Robert Mueller, President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to federal prosecutors and violated the plea agreement.

From a joint status report by Mueller's team and Manafort's lawyers: "After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement." 

What next?: Mueller's prosecutors asked the judge to schedule a sentencing hearing.  

Keep in mind: Manafort, who is seen as a crucial witness in the Russia collusion investigation, pleaded guilty on two felony charges and agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.


Reaction from Trump this a.m. -- the most predictable tweets:

President Trump accused special counsel Robert Mueller of causing "tremendous damage" to the criminal justice system.

The first of Trump's tweets: "The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie. Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue." Read the full series of tweets:




Election Day was fun. Let's do it again today.:

Via The Hill's Lisa Hagen, "Republicans are scrambling to keep a Mississippi Senate seat in Tuesday's runoff election after a series of controversial gaffes by embattled Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has threatened her prospects in the deep-red state." The Democrat on the ballot: Former Clinton Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.


  1. Will Hyde-Smith's gaffes depress turnout?
  2. Will Trump's eleventh-hour visit to Mississippi save Hyde-Smith?
  3. Will loyal Chris McDaniel supporters back Hyde-Smith?
  4. Will Espy build a winning coalition for another Deep South upset?
  5. Can a Clinton-era politician make a comeback?

Context and details for each:

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SENATE: If the Republican candidate wins, Republicans would control the Senate 53-47. If the Democrat wins, Republicans would control the Senate 52-48.






Happening tomorrow -- Can someone please get Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE a Bob Barker microphone?


Via The Hill's Scott Wong and Melanie Zanona, Democrats are playing 'Let's make a deal' with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just one day before House Democrats hold a closed-door vote to nominate Pelosi as speaker. For example: "Nine centrist Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus are vowing to oppose the powerful California Democrat's bid for the Speakership unless she agrees to back rules changes that they favor."


Some of these poll numbers about the Holocaust are pretty startling:

Via CNN's Richard Allen Greene, a new CNN poll shows the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Europe.

On the Holocaust: One in 20 Europeans polled has never heard of the Holocaust. And of Europeans between the ages of 18 and 34, 1 in 5 (!) have never heard of the Holocaust. 

In Austria: 12 percent of young people polled had never heard of Hitler; 4 in 10 Austrians said they knew "just a little" about the Holocaust. 

On Israel: "A third of survey respondents believe that criticism of Israel tends to be motivated by anti-Semitism, while only one in five said it does not."  

Which countries were surveyed: Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.

Keep in mind: This poll was commissioned before the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

The full poll and graphics are pretty interesting:






The House and Senate are in. 

12:15 p.m. EST: The Senate has two roll call votes. The Senate's full schedule today:

12:30 p.m. EST: The Senate breaks for weekly caucus luncheons. Vice President Pence attends the Republican lunch.

12:45 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Top Dem demands State Department documents on Khashoggi killing MORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump to sign funding deal, declare national emergency | Shanahan says allies will be consulted on Afghanistan | Dem demands Khashoggi documents Does ‘limited war’ mean limited risks for aggressors? US-led coalition says it struck Syrian mosque used by ISIS MORE.

2:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with House Republican leadership. 

3:45 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — House moving to vote on deal after signals Trump will sign Artist buys Trump souvenir wedding cake for nearly K at auction The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Getting Trump to ‘yes’ on border security deal MORE participate in a White House Christmas reception. Photos of the White House Christmas decorations -- they're beautiful!:

6:30 p.m. EST: Votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

7:30 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in the U.S. Secret Service Christmas reception. 

8 a.m. EST Wednesday: The Hill is hosting "Preparing for a Treatment: Alzheimer's Diagnosis and Care." Featured speakers: The Hill editor-in-chief Bob Cusack and health-care reporter Peter Sullivan will interview Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senator dedicates heart photo to wife from Senate floor for Valentine's Day A year since Parkland: we have a solution GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate MORE (R-N.C.). Details and how to RSVP:



1 p.m. EST: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a press briefing. These briefings are rare these days. Livestream:

2 p.m. EST: Senate Republican leaders hold a news conference. Livestream:



Today is National Bavarian Cream Pie Day.


If you want to drink where it looks like Christmas exploded everywhere:

Via Eater, kitschy Christmas bars are popping up more frequently in cities around the United States. Photos of some of the most popular Christmas pop-up bars:


And because you made it to the end, here's a cat who is still in Thanksgiving weekend mode and could use another nap. I.e.: This cat is all of us.: