The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump, Dem leaders spar before cameras at meeting over border wall | Senate to vote on criminal justice bill | Google chief gets grilling

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dem leaders spar before cameras at meeting on border wall | Trump warns Pelosi he will shut down government | Trump calls it 'fake news' he can't find chief of staff | McConnell agrees to vote on criminal justice bill | Warns Senate could work during Christmas break | Dem Luján to get 'assistant Speaker' title | Google chief gets grilling before Congress | Murdered or imprisoned journalists are Time's 'Person of the Year'


Omg, the Oval Office just turned into a Jerry Springer episode: 

Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE just got into an extraordinary public argument with Democratic congressional leaders Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE (D-N.Y.) and Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy President Trump needs to speak out on Hong Kong Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE (D-Calif.) as pressure is building over the White House's border wall demands.

Trump told Schumer and Pelosi in front of the press: "I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. ... I will be the one to shut it down."

Pelosi's reaction -- Not. Now.:  Pelosi repeatedly asked Trump not to discuss the issue of border wall funding while the press was in the room. "You will not win," Pelosi told Trump.

Same with Schumer: "Let's debate, let's debate in private."

YiiikesPresident Trump: "Nancy's in a situation where it's not easy to talk right now." 

Nancy Pelosi: "Please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting"

On whether they will reach an agreement -- Eh.: "We probably won't have an agreement today," Trump said. "We probably won't."

Watch -- here's video of part of the back and forth:  

NEW PHOTO FROM THE MEETING -- WOW:  "Incredible argument unfolding now in front of the press between trump, Pelosi and Schumer over votes for border security. Pelosi keeps asking not to discuss it in front of the press." (Via The Wall Street Journal's Vivian Salama) Photo:

OK, now look at that photo again, but this time notice Pence's facial expression:

^Amazing comparison: The Hill's Niv Elis described Vice President Pence's reaction to the outbursts well. "Pence is just sitting there super awkwardly. He looks like an Elf on the Shelf." Compare this photo to the photo above:

Photo of the White House press corps capturing the outburst:

TIDBIT -- WHY WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE MEETING: "The meeting was scheduled be closed to the press but the White House unexpectedly opened it to reporters just as Pelosi and Schumer were arriving at the White House."


What Trump is pushing for: $5 billion in border wall funding. 

Why Democrats aren't in the mood to negotiate: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is under pressure not to concede because her party is taking control of the House in January. Pelosi is also vying for the job as speaker. 

Why both parties may need to compromise: If the two sides don't come to an agreement by Dec. 21, part of the federal government shuts down. I.e.: Four days before Christmas.   


President Trump made a last-minute pitch for border wall funding this morning before his meeting with Pelosi and Schumer. The gist -- excerpt:  "Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way … I look forward to my meeting with Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE & Nancy Pelosi. In 2006, Democrats voted for a Wall, and they were right to do so. Today, they no longer want Border Security. They will fight it at all cost, and Nancy must get votes for Speaker. But the Wall will get built." The full tweets:


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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Time's 2018 'Person of the Year':

This morning, Time magazine named a group of journalists who were murdered or imprisoned in the past year as its 2018 "Person of the Year." Read the cover story:

Specifically which journalists: Murdered journalists Jamal Khashoggi and staff members of the Capital Gazette newspaper, as well as jailed journalists Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo

Photos of the four magazine covers -- they're pretty powerful:

From the cover story: "This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it's in retreat."

From Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal: "Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments. This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment."



Let me Google that for you:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is testifying on Capitol Hill to discuss data practices and possible bias. Livestream of the hearing:

This is so creepy: It appears that the Monopoly Man is sitting behind Google's CEO at the hearing. See for yourself -- photo:

^Back story: Activist Ian Madrigal attends congressional hearings dressed as the Monopoly mascot. What to know:

Ugh, because of course Alex Jones showed up...: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones showed up at the Google hearing, followed Google CEO Sundar Pichai down the hall and heckled him. Why Jones is angry: He's been banned by several leading internet platforms.  Details:


An update on criminal justice reform -- it's getting a vote! 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump faces crucial decisions on economy, guns Are Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' MORE (R-Ky.) just said he will bring a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill to a vote, giving a big win to President Trump

Why this is newsy: Just last week, McConnell suggested he did not have enough votes to pass criminal justice reform this year. Quote from McConnell just last week: "It's extremely divisive inside the Senate Republican Conference, in fact there are more members in my conference that are either against it or undecided than or for it. This is a one-week to 10-day bill and I've got two weeks."

Why criminal justice reform is McConnell's biggest headache: "McConnell, who prides himself in working with his Republican colleagues and allowing the GOP conference to work its will, finds himself in the middle of an increasingly public and bitter battle over criminal justice reform that pits President Trump, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTop immigration aide experienced 'jolt of electricity to my soul' when Trump announced campaign Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report Trump Jr. dismisses conflicts of interest, touts projects in Indonesia MORE and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee against a group of conservatives opposed to the bill."

WHY IT'S NOT A FUN TIME TO BE MITCH MCCONNELL: Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a difficult two weeks ahead of him as he tries to navigate disputes within his conference over the lame-duck Congress's final legislative goals." Think: Saudi Arabia and criminal justice reform.

THIS MORNING FROM MCCONNELL -- IT'S THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS VACATION THREAT: McConnell warned that senators could be in session between Christmas and New Years to finish work for the year unless senators agree to fast-track some of its to-do list.


Tidbit -- someone clearly watched Ariana Grande's 'Thank u, next' music video:

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) responded to an interview from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyI'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' Tlaib says she won't visit Israel after being treated like 'a criminal' MORE (R-Calif.):

THIS A.M. -- NEW CONGRESS, NEW TITLE: Via The Hill's Scott Wong, "Rep. Ben Ray Luján's (D-N.M.) new title in the next Congress will be 'assistant Speaker' instead of 'assistant majority leader,' House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told rank-and-file members in a closed-door caucus meeting Tuesday, multiple sources in the room told The Hill."




I wonder how awkward work is today for John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE:

Via The Hill's Niall StanagePresident Trump's search for his next chief of staff has cast a harsh light on his administration. Why: "The probe by special counsel Robert Mueller is picking up speed, amplifying the inherent risks in working for the volatile Trump. It has made a job that would once have been a career pinnacle fraught with peril."

Quote from a Republican operative: "You're not becoming the chief of staff for the president of the United States. You're becoming the chief of staff for Individual-1."

THIS MORNING -- REACTION FROM TRUMP: The president called media reports about his struggle to find a new chief of staff "fake news." He tweeted: "Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn't someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!"



Whoaaaa -- this may be cooler than the northern lights


Meanwhile on the campaign trail:



The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington. D.C.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump met with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the Oval Office.

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

3 p.m. EST: A judge scheduled a hearing to decide whether President Trump's former campaign chair Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer DOJ releases notes from official Bruce Ohr's Russia probe interviews MORE breached his plea agreement. Details:

3:45 p.m. EST: President Trump signs the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018.

3:45 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

Wednesday: President Trump's planned economic event in Baltimore will now happen at the White House. Details:



This morning: Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies on Capitol Hill about data practices. Livestream:



Today is National "Have a Bagel" Day.


This is important, my bagel lovers:

Panera Bread is giving out a free bagel a day through the end of the year. How to get the free bagels: Sign up for their rewards membership. 


And to break up your Tuesday afternoon, here's a puppy conquering its family's Roomba: