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 TrumpReturn hope to the Middle East by returning to the Iran Deal Government shutdowns tend to increase government spending 'Full Frontal' gives six-bedroom house to group that works with detained immigrants MORE's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortIt’s time the UK cracked down on dirty Russian money Alan Dershowitz: Did Michael Flynn lie? Or did the FBI act improperly? Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation 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 PelosiLiberal groups launch effort to get progressives on key House committees Dems preparing for prolonged shutdown Jim Jordan predicts there will be no government shutdown 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 PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report — No deal in sight as shutdown looms Turkey: Trump working on cleric’s extradition Trump risks clash with Congress over Chinese executive MORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisPentagon has sent home nearly 3K active-duty border troops Trump risks clash with Congress over Chinese executive Russia claims Pentagon ignoring request to discuss nuclear dispute 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 — Trump rips Dems as shutdown looms | Congress deadlocked | Flynn associates charged will illegal lobbying The Hill's Morning Report — No deal in sight as shutdown looms Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation 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 TillisSenate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure GOP tensions running high on criminal justice bill Trump tells McConnell to let Senate vote on criminal justice reform 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.: