The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — George H.W. Bush lies in state | NRCC suffers major hack | Crunch-time for Congress

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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 — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Cyber breach exposed NRCC emails | Avenatti not running | George H.W. Bush lies in state | Trump visits Bushes | Lawmakers face end-of-year crunch | Shutdown fight delayed | CIA chief to brief senators on Khashoggi | Why John DingellJohn DingellThe Memo: Trump tests limits of fiery attacks during crisis Overwhelming majority of voters say civility is needed in politics Lawmakers discuss how to work together in midst of impeachment fight MORE wants to abolish the Senate | National Cookie Day deals



Former President George H.W. Bush lies in state:

Former President George H.W. Bush's body lies in state today in the Capitol Rotunda for mourners to pay their respects.

Livestream of Bush's casket lying in state:



There was a stunning sunset over the Capitol while Bush's casket was carried up the steps: Photo:

Video of Bush's casket arriving at the Capitol:  

Photo of the Supreme Court justices paying their respects:

What happens after Wednesday's funeral: After Bush's Wednesday funeral in Washington, D.C., his casket will fly from D.C. to Houston on "Special Air Mission 41." 

How Bush's casket will get to his final resting place -- on a train named after him: A train built in 2005 to honor the former president will transport Bush's body from Houston to College Station, a nearly 100-mile trip. Photos of Bush driving the train a few years ago -- the colors are beautiful:

Prince Charles will attend tomorrow's funeral: The British prince will represent his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

How Kennebunkport, Maine, is grieving the loss:


HAPPENING TODAY -- TRUMP WILL VISIT THE BUSHES AT BLAIR HOUSE: This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE tweeted that he will meet with the Bush family at Blair House, a government house across the street from the White House where incoming presidents, former presidents and foreign dignitaries stay. He tweeted: "The elegance & precision of the last two days have been remarkable!"

AND Melania TrumpMelania TrumpUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus Trump defends million in Kennedy Center funding in coronavirus stimulus Budowsky: President Trump, meet with all former living presidents MORE INVITED LAURA BUSH TO SEE THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS: First lady Melania Trump invited former first lady Laura Bush to tour the Christmas decorations at the White House.


It's Tuesday. 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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I have a lot of emotions about this, but 'relief' is the first that comes to mind:

Ex-porn star Stormy Daniels's attorney Michael Avenatti  just announced that he will NOT run for president, ending months of speculation.

From his statement: "After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the presidency of the U.S. in 2020. I do not make this decision lightly - I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run." 

On Stormy Daniels: Avenatti said he will still continue to represent her. 

Read his full statement:


*Covers eyes* -- there was major hack in the Republican Party:

Via Politico's Alex Isenstadt and John Bresnahan, the National Republican Congressional Committee was hacked and emails of four senior aides were surveilled for months.

Oh and senior House Republicans weren't told until reporters asked: "However, senior House Republicans -- including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Health Care: More states order residents to stay at home | Trump looks to sell public on coronavirus response | Judges block Ohio, Texas abortion bans | Dems eye infrastructure in next relief bill Asian American lawmaker warns of fear of racism over coronavirus stigma Democrats eye major infrastructure component in next coronavirus package MORE (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScalisePelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid House GOP whip team seeks to get Republicans behind Senate coronavirus bill 14 things to know today about coronavirus MORE (R-La.) -- were not informed of the hack until Politico contacted the NRCC on Monday with questions about the episode. Rank-and-file House Republicans were not told, either."

Why the committee kept the hack a secret: Fearing any leaks would compromise an investigation to find who was behind the hack. 

Keep in mind: Donor information was not hacked. 

What we know about the hack:



Happening at 11 a.m. -- Ahh, now they hear from Gina Haspel:

Via CNN's Zachary Cohen and Kate Sullivan, CIA Director Gina Haspel will brief a few senators on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Which senators: "Haspel will brief the chairmen and ranking Democrats of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, according to a senator who will be attending the meeting."

Where the private meeting will happen: The Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the basement of the Capitol Visitors Center. 

Why this is newsy: Senators requested a briefing on Khashoggi, and last week Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS extends waivers on Iran sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic Overnight Defense: Pentagon orders bases to stop reporting coronavirus numbers | Hospital ship arrives in NY | Marines pause sending new recruits to boot camp | Defense bill work delayed Democratic senators ask Pompeo to provide coronavirus aid to Palestinian territories MORE and Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisIs coronavirus the final Trump crisis? Pentagon seeks to reconsider parts of B cloud contract given to Microsoft over Amazon Democrats press FEC pick to recuse himself from Trump matters MORE met with the upper chamber and said there is no direct evidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for his death. However: The CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince is, in fact, responsible. Some senators were angry the CIA director did not attend the briefing.

NEW DEVELOPMENT -- THE HOUSE WILL BE BRIEFED ON DEC. 13: "House lawmakers will receive an intelligence briefing from the administration next week on the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, though it's unclear whether CIA Director Gina Haspel will attend."


The government funding deadline is now four days from Christmas:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Niv Elis, lawmakers have agreed on a two-week government funding extension to keep the government open. Why: Because of former President George H.W. Bush's death. The big fight lawmakers face: Whether to fund President Trump's proposed border wall.

How the extension will work: "The current deadline is midnight on Friday, Dec. 7. The House and Senate are expected to approve the new deadline at some point this week. That could be done in the House by unanimous consent, without lawmakers present to vote." (Via The Washington Post's Erica Werner)


Cue the '60 Minutes' clock


Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Lawmakers are facing an end-of-the-year traffic jam with legislation piling up and a tight schedule that leaves them little wiggle room." How so: "Leadership is juggling a backlog of must-pass bills and nominations as well as eleventh-hour requests from rank-and-file members as legislators try to cram as much as possible into the final days of the work year. Republicans, in particular, are feeling pressure to make a last-ditch effort as they prepare to cede control of the House to Democrats in January."



Mattis asks for help:

Defense Secretary James Mattis called for the international community to help end the war in Afghanistan. Mattis's told reporters: "In Afghanistan, it's gone on now it's approaching 40 years; 40 years is enough and it's time for everyone to get on board, support the United Nations, support [Indian] Prime Minister Modi, support [Afghan] President Ghani and all those who are trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here. So, we are on that track."



Naaah, definitely not running:

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response MORE is fueling speculation over a campaign run, calling himself the "most qualified" person to campaign against President Trump

Biden said on a book tour: "I'll be as straight with you as I can. I think I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president. The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I've worked on my whole life ...  No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I've been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have – even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it."

Op-ed on why this race is starting to look like 2004:


My invitation didn't come in the mail, but I know it was an oversight:

Via The Evening Standard, Meghan Markle, the duchess of Sussex, met with former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaBiden could be picking the next president: VP choice more important than ever Lobbying world Michelle Obama hosts from-home voter registration party with DJ D-Nice MORE in London last night.  What they discussed: Empowering women around the world. Keep in mind: Prince Harry has met with the Obamas several times over the years.


FYI, John Dingell wants to abolish the Senate. Thought you should know:

Former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) published an op-ed in The Atlantic titled, "I Served in Congress Longer Than Anyone. Here's How to Fix It. Abolish the Senate and publicly fund elections." 

The biggest change Dingell has seen during his career: "It is the complete collapse in respect for virtually every institution of government and an unprecedented cynicism about the nobility of public service itself."

^For example: A 1958 survey "found that 73 percent of Americans trusted the federal government 'to do the right thing almost always or most of the time.'" The same study in 2017: Just 18 percent of people now think so.

How long Dingell served in Congress: From December 1955 to January 2015. 

His step-by-step list of how to fix this:



The 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi will be the first ever in the Middle East, bringing together 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries. Learn more



The best video I've seen this week. Seriously, watch it:

Watch -- I can't believe how long this goes on:



The House is out. The Senate meets this afternoon, but has no votes scheduled.

12:45 p.m. EST: Senators break for weekly caucus luncheons. Vice President Pence attends the Republican lunch.

2:30 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.

3:30 p.m. EST: President Trump signs the Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoStimulus price tag of .2T falls way short, some experts say Democratic challenger on Van Drew's party switch: 'He betrayed our community' Trump announces Van Drew will become a Republican in Oval Office meeting MORE Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 in the Oval Office.

6:40 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the United in Purpose: Ziklag Group Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C.



This morning: A Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee is holding a hearing on the U.S. policy towards China. Livestream:



Today is National Cookie Day! Here's where to get free cookies today for celebrate:

And just in case you aren't already hungry and craving a cookie, here are the five best cookies in the D.C. area, via the Washington Post's Going Out Guide:


Street lines or abstract art?:

Via PoPville, check out the street lines painted on 18th street between P and Q northwest. I'm at a loss for words... Photos:


And to break up your Tuesday afternoon, here are triplet toddlers attempting to catch a puppy. Keep trying!!