The Hill's 12:30 Report — White House requests walk-through for State of the Union | Justices allow transgender ban to take effect | Trump vows to not 'cave' on wall

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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: Day 32 of shutdown | Trump requests walk-through for State of the Union | Trump insists he won't 'cave' on wall demand | Congress to take up competing plans to end shutdown | Justices allow military transgender ban to take effect | Supreme Court allows appeal over mystery subpoena | Fox News anchor Bret Baier, family out of hospital after car crash | Moose chases skiers in Colorado


New development on the transgender military ban -- carry on:

This morning, the Supreme Court decided to allow the Trump administration to temporarily ban transgender people from serving in the military. What I mean by temporarily: The court did not weigh in on the legality of the practice but will allow the ban to continue while the policy is settled in the lower courts.

Back story on the ban: "The policy, first announced by the President in July 2017 via Twitter, and later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James MattisJames Norman MattisWatchdog: Former Pentagon spokeswoman misused staff for personal errands Senate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment MORE, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth."


Hmmmm, I wonder what this is about:

Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler and Morgan Chalfant, "The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will allow an appeal to be filed in a dispute over a mystery grand jury subpoena to a foreign government-owned company." The participants in the case: The participants are unknown. But (!): "The case ... is thought to be tied to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow."


OH AND -- THE SUPREME COURT DIDN'T ADDRESS DACA: "The Supreme Court on Tuesday took no action on whether it will hear disputes over the Trump administration's decision to wind down the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program." What this means: "No action from the court may mean protections for some 700,000 young people brought to the country illegally as children may remain in place for several more months."


It's a chilly Tuesday in D.C. -- welcome back! 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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Welp, too late. You invited me:

Via The Hill's Jordan Fabian, the White House has asked Congress to conduct a walk-through of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE's State of the Union address. I.e.: Trump may ignore Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony MORE's (D-Calif.) request to reschedule it.



Fox's Bret Baier and his family were in a car crash:

Fox News anchor Bret Baier and his family were on the way to the airport after a ski trip in Montana this weekend when their car flipped.  Are they OK?: Baier said in a statement that they are "banged up, but alive."

The announcement -- from CBS's Stephen Colbert: "We just found out that he and his family were in a car accident in Montana. Bad, like, jaws of life to get him out of there. They're all in the hospital but they're going to be OK. And we just want to say: We hope you're doing better." Why Colbert made the announcement: Baier was scheduled to be a guest on Colbert's show.

Statement from Baier: "After a weekend of skiing with my wife and two boys in Montana, driving to the airport Monday morning on icy roads, we were involved in a major car crash. Thanks to a man driving by named Zach who stopped and helped, we were able to climb out of the flipped car. And thanks to the first responders and Montana Highway Patrol -- we made it to the hospital quickly. We are very grateful to all of those who helped us out."


If you like your press briefings, you can keep them:

This morning, President Trump said he directed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to stop holding regular press briefings.

Why: "The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the 'podium' much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!"



When I say 'no,' you say 'cave' -- 'No! Cave! No! Cave!':

This morning, President Trump reiterated that he will not compromise on his negotiations for a wall on the southern border. I.e.: No imminent end in sight to the partial government shutdown.

He tweeted: "Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security. With a powerful Wall or Steel Barrier, Crime Rates (and Drugs) will go substantially down all over the U.S. The Dems know this but want to play political games. Must finally be done correctly. No Cave!"


Happening in Congress this week -- I believe the technical term is 'throwing spaghetti at the wall':

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke, "Lawmakers will take up competing plans this week to reopen the government, neither of which has enough support to pass both chambers, garner President Trump's signature and end the stalemated funding fight." Details:


NATO: The House will vote on a bipartisan bill to reiterate support for NATO.

Rules change: "Senate Republicans are discussing trying to muscle through a rules change that would significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to confirm most of Trump's nominees as soon as next week." 

Context and details:




Rudy has thoughts:

The New Yorker's Isaac Chotiner spoke with President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani yesterday.

On The New York Times report, "President Trump was involved in discussions to build a skyscraper in Moscow throughout the entire 2016 presidential campaign.": "He's wrong! They're wrong!"

The $$ line -- on whether those Moscow discussions happened: "I am not saying that he did it. I just told you he didn't do it. I am telling you that their investigation is so ridiculous that, even if he did do it, it wouldn't be a crime.

On the BuzzFeed story alleging that Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: "There are no tapes, there are no texts, there is no corroboration that the President told him to lie. That's why the special counsel said that the story was inaccurate. First time the special counsel has ever done that. As a prosecutor, having done that for fifteen years, that is quite a heavy rebuke of BuzzFeed." 

The full interview -- it's pretty interesting:

READING TIME WITH CNN: CNN hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota gave a dramatic reading of the Giuliani interview. Watch:


Get it in writing:

Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, "Equal rights for women could soon be enshrined in the Constitution. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) almost 47 years ago to establish gender equality under the law, and state support is closing in on clearing a crucial obstacle." What to expect:




Full video and back story:



Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

Noon: The House meets.

12:30 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence. 

1 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.

6:30 p.m. EST: Votes postponed in the House.

Late February: President Trump is expected to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.



5 p.m. EST: The House Rules Committee meets to discuss fiscal 2019 appropriations. Livestream:



Today is National Blonde Brownie Day.


They told me I was crazy, but I knew this existed! I just knew it.:

Students at Ohio State University can now get pizza from an ATM machine. Logistics: "The pizzas are made by a neighboring kitchen, who then stores the uncooked pies in a refrigeration unit within the machine. Once the pizza is ordered, the ATM's internal oven cooks the crust to crispy perfection and melts the mozzarella in a matter of three to four minutes." Photos:


And to break up your Tuesday afternoon, here are ducks holding a parade: